What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have 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?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover an eight by eight chessboard?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of your own.
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?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
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?
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
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.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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 activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Mr McGregor has a magic potting shed. Overnight, the number of plants in it doubles. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of three gardens, planting one garden each day. Can he do it?
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 activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or 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?