These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
If you put three beads onto a tens/ones abacus you could make the numbers 3, 30, 12 or 21. What numbers can be made with six beads?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?
Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there more than one way to do it?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
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?
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.
In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Using the cards 2, 4, 6, 8, +, - and =, what number statements can you make?
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.