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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have 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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to 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.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
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?
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 focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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.
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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
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.
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?
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 is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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.
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.