How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
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?
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
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. . . .
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?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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'.
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
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....?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
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?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the chance of winning?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Have a go at this well-known challenge. Can you swap the frogs and toads in as few slides and jumps as possible?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.