What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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 shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
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 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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
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?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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 merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?
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.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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. . . .
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?
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?
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?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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 will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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 practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Use the numbers and symbols to make this number sentence correct. How many different ways can you find?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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.
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?