Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?

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

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?

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

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

You have a set of the digits from 0 – 9. Can you arrange these in the 5 boxes to make two-digit numbers as close to the targets as possible?

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?

Ahmed is making rods using different numbers of cubes. Which rod is twice the length of his first rod?

Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?

Ideas for practical ways of representing data such as Venn and Carroll diagrams.

Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.

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?

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?

Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?

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?

In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.

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.

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?

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

How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?

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 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?

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?

It might seem impossible but it is possible. How can you cut a playing card to make a hole big enough to walk through?

Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice? How could you sort the cards?

These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?

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

You could use just coloured pencils and paper to create this design, but it will be more eye-catching if you can get hold of hammer, nails and string.

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 activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.

Can you predict when you'll be clapping and when you'll be clicking if you start this rhythm? How about when a friend begins a new rhythm at the same time?

Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.

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?

Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?

Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets do? How high can you safely stack the cans?

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.

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 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?

A group of children are discussing the height of a tall tree. How would you go about finding out its height?

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.

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?

Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.

This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.