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?
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?
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?
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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock
face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions
differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
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?
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
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
Can you mentally fit the 7 SOMA pieces together to make a cube? Can
you do it in more than one way?
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?
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?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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 many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will
not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the
quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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?
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles.
Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4,
5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
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.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?
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 these clocks?
A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can
introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there
cannot be more than three acute angles.
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
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?
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you
work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall
and work out a way they might fit together?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.