If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that
they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can
you investigate all the different possibilities?
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.
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence
to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8
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
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort
them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we
arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book.
How many pages does the book have?
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
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?
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive
numbers are joined by a line.
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
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?
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?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Have a go at balancing this equation. Can you find different ways of doing it?
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?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who
have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to
make all the different orders for 9 families?
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make
another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same
George and Jim want to buy a chocolate bar. George needs 2p more
and Jim need 50p more to buy it. How much is the chocolate bar?
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?
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?
Frances and Rishi were given a bag of lollies. They shared them out evenly and had one left over. How many lollies could there have been in the bag?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this
set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different
squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?