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?
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?
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
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none
can capture any of the others.
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?
A student in a maths class was trying to get some information from
her teacher. She was given some clues and then the teacher ended by
saying, "Well, how old are they?"
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 order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
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
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so
that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used
once and once only.
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one
layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same
colour are next to each other in any direction?
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.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How
will you know you've found them all?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so
that you have double the number.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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
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?
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is
between each super-eclipse?
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?
Find the smallest whole number which, when mutiplied by 7, gives a
product consisting entirely of ones.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
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?
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
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?
What do the digits in the number fifteen add up to? How many other
numbers have digits with the same total but no zeros?
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 is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the
animal names under each column in the block graph using the
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are
differently sized and which are 'similar'?
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?
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
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?
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?
There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?
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?