How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
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?
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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 blocks.
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.
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?
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.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?
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?
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?
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
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!
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.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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?
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?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
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.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?
Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?
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!
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.