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?
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?
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?
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
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.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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 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.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which bell to ring?
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?
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?
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?
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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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. . . .
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
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.
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.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?
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 DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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?
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?
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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.
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.