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 shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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 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?
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?
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?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
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.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
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....?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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. . . .
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
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.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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.
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?
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 ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?