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?

Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.

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?

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.

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!

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?

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.

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

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?

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?

These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

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?

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?

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?

Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.

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?

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?

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.

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?

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 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. . . .

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?

Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?

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?

Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.

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.?

The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?

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?

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?

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.

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?

Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?

Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.

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 could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.

These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.

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 ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?

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?

Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.