An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
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?
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?
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 blocks.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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.
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?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
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?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
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?
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?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
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.
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?
The discs for this game are kept in a flat square box with a square hole for each. Use the information to find out how many discs of each colour there are in the box.
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?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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.
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?