An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify predictions.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
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.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
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?
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.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
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?
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?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
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 make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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 rules.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
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?
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?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
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.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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!
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.