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

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.

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

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?

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?

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

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?

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.

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 the birds from the egg tangram?

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

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?

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?

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

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?

Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?

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

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

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?

What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?

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?

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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 the lobster, yacht and cyclist?

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

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

How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

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

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 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 outlines of these people?

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

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.

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?

Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.

Have a look at what happens when you pull a reef knot and a granny knot tight. Which do you think is best for securing things together? Why?

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