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.
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence
to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8
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
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
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?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the
outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you
find for me to take?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square
tiles of different sizes?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
These rectangles have been torn. How many squares did each one have
inside it before it was ripped?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the
lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can
you investigate patios of different sizes?
Put 10 counters in a row. Find a way to arrange the counters into
five pairs, evenly spaced in a row, in just 5 moves, using the
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?
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?
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.
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the
month from the 1st to the 31st.
Arrange the four number cards on the grid, according to the rules,
to make a diagonal, vertical or horizontal line.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
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?
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 date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
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?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
What do the numbers shaded in blue on this hundred square have in common? What do you notice about the pink numbers? How about the shaded numbers in the other squares?
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
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?
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?
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?
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
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?
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must
go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
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?
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
How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are
four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can
you find all the ways of doing this?
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one
minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the
real time) they arrived at the airport.