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.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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.
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?
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.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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. . . .
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?
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.
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 cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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?
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?
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?
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
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 many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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 can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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?
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?
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?