Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?
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?
You have a set of the digits from 0 – 9. Can you arrange these in the five boxes to make two-digit numbers as close to the targets as possible?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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 this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice? How could you sort the cards?
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?
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?
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 make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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.
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Explore the triangles that can be made with seven sticks of the same length.
How do you know if your set of dominoes is complete?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in the run-up to Christmas.
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
Our 2008 Advent Calendar has a 'Making Maths' activity for every day in the run-up to Christmas.
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns with two different types of triangle. You could even try overlapping them.
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?
Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.
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?
Ahmed is making rods using different numbers of cubes. Which rod is twice the length of his first rod?
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?
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.
Can you describe a piece of paper clearly enough for your partner to know which piece it is?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?