Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
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?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
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?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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.
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?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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?
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?
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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. . . .
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?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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.
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
When I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remove them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
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....?
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.
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 triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?
Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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 find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.