What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
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. . . .
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Use the clues to colour each square.
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 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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
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?
Explore the different snakes that can be made using 5 cubes.
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
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.
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?
Take three differently coloured blocks - maybe red, yellow and blue. Make a tower using one of each colour. How many different towers can you make?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?
If you hang two weights on one side of this balance, in how many different ways can you hang three weights on the other side for it to be balanced?
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
Vincent and Tara are making triangles with the class construction set. They have a pile of strips of different lengths. How many different triangles can they make?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
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?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?
Ben and his mum are planting garlic. Use the interactivity to help you find out how many cloves of garlic they might have had.