If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
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?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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?
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.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to 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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Tim had nine cards each with a different number from 1 to 9 on it. How could he have put them into three piles so that the total in each pile was 15?
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?
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?
There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
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.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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!
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.
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?
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!
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.