In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
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 rules.
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
In the multiplication calculation, some of the digits have been replaced by letters and others by asterisks. Can you reconstruct the original multiplication?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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.
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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?
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?
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
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?
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.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
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!
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!
On my calculator I divided one whole number by another whole number and got the answer 3.125. If the numbers are both under 50, what are they?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.