How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep
truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can
this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover
an eight by eight chessboard?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There
are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where
are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
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
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
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?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
What is the least number of moves you can take to rearrange the
bears so that no bear is next to a bear of the same colour?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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?
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
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.
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
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?
One face of a regular tetrahedron is painted blue and each of the
remaining faces are painted using one of the colours red, green or
yellow. How many different possibilities are there?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
A toy has a regular tetrahedron, a cube and a base with triangular
and square hollows. If you fit a shape into the correct hollow a
bell rings. How many times does the bell ring in a complete game?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
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?
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
A shape and space game for 2,3 or 4 players. Be the last person to be able to place a pentomino piece on the playing board. Play with card, or on the computer.
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3
cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue
cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you
move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up
with the same arrangement?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged
L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
A game for two players on a large squared space.
Have you ever tried tessellating capital letters? Have a look at
these examples and then try some for yourself.