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?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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.
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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 find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?
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?
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....?
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.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
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?
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
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?
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?
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules, to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
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.