This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
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?
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 best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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?
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?
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.
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
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.
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?
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?
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?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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 see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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?
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,. . . .
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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 make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
Can you visualise what shape this piece of paper will make when it is folded?
What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain why are they called pyramid numbers?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Mai Ling?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
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 chairs?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
Can you cut up a square in the way shown and make the pieces into a triangle?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?