Whenever a monkey has peaches, he always keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long could he make his peaches last for?
This practical challenge invites you to investigate the different squares you can make on a square geoboard or pegboard.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
A mathematician goes into a supermarket and buys four items. Using a calculator she multiplies the cost instead of adding them. How can her answer be the same as the total at the till?
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
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 different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Just four procedures were used to produce a design. How was it done? Can you be systematic and elegant so that someone can follow your logic?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?
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?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
Can you find all the different triangles on these peg boards, and find their angles?
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?
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?
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.
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are differently sized and which are 'similar'?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
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?
Pentagram Pylons - can you elegantly recreate them? Or, the European flag in LOGO - what poses the greater problem?
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.
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
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?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.