What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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 will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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.
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?
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?
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 activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
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. . . .
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?
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.
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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?
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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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 ...?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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'.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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 remove them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?