Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every day in the run-up to Christmas.

NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in the run-up to Christmas.

Have you ever tried tessellating capital letters? Have a look at these examples and then try some for yourself.

We can cut a small triangle off the corner of a square and then fit the two pieces together. Can you work out how these shapes are made from the two pieces?

Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?

This was a problem for our birthday website. Can you use four of these pieces to form a square? How about making a square with all five pieces?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?

Using different numbers of sticks, how many different triangles are you able to make? Can you make any rules about the numbers of sticks that make the most triangles?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?

Take 5 cubes of one colour and 2 of another colour. How many different ways can you join them if the 5 must touch the table and the 2 must not touch the table?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?

What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?

Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what you see? Why not try and make one yourself?

This problem focuses on Dienes' Logiblocs. What is the same and what is different about these pairs of shapes? Can you describe the shapes in the picture?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these clocks?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?

Can you see which tile is the odd one out in this design? Using the basic tile, can you make a repeating pattern to decorate our wall?

Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?

What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you try the other shapes?

This practical activity challenges you to create symmetrical designs by cutting a square into strips.

Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?

Make a chair and table out of interlocking cubes, making sure that the chair fits under the table!

If these balls are put on a line with each ball touching the one in front and the one behind, which arrangement makes the shortest line of balls?

Can you describe a piece of paper clearly enough for your partner to know which piece it is?

Factors and Multiples game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you win this game?

These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.

You will need a long strip of paper for this task. Cut it into different lengths. How could you find out how long each piece is?

What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain why are they called pyramid numbers?

For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...

An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.

Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.

Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.

Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or ruling lines.

Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?