How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating
shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
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
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?
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 recreate this Indian screen pattern? Can you make up
similar patterns of your own?
This practical activity challenges you to create symmetrical designs by cutting a square into strips.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets
do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
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?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles
using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What
other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There
are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many
different ways can they build their houses?
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?
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every
day in the run-up to Christmas.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Follow these instructions to make a five-pointed snowflake from a
square of paper.
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
It's hard to make a snowflake with six perfect lines of symmetry,
but it's fun to try!
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular
fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular
Explore the triangles that can be made with seven sticks of the
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
Let's say you can only use two different lengths - 2 units and 4
units. Using just these 2 lengths as the edges how many different
cuboids can you make?
A brief video looking at how you can sometimes use symmetry to
distinguish knots. Can you use this idea to investigate the
differences between the granny knot and the reef knot?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we
asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds
so find out which we might have bought.
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
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?
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?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical
Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
If you'd like to know more about Primary Maths Masterclasses, this
is the package to read! Find out about current groups in your
region or how to set up your own.