Roll two red dice and a green dice. Add the two numbers on the red dice and take away the number on the green. What are all the different possible answers?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the chance of winning?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
Kate has eight multilink cubes. She has two red ones, two yellow, two green and two blue. She wants to fit them together to make a cube so that each colour shows on each face just once.
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?
Arrange 9 red cubes, 9 blue cubes and 9 yellow cubes into a large 3 by 3 cube. No row or column of cubes must contain two cubes of the same colour.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
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?
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?
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
When I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?