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?
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.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
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?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
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.
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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 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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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....?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
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.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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 put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
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.
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 different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125. If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
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?
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!
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?