What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
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.
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
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?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
Your challenge is to find the longest way through the network following this rule. You can start and finish anywhere, and with any shape, as long as you follow the correct order.
Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
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.
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 challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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?
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
Imagine that the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw are roughly a rectangular shape and all the same size. How many different puzzle pieces could there be?
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?
Can you rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
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. . . .
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
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?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.