Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?
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?
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.
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.
How many shapes can you build from three red and two green cubes? Can you use what you've found out to predict the number for four red and two green?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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.
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?
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
Can you use this information to work out Charlie's house number?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
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?
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.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
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?
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.
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?
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?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
There are nine teddies in Teddy Town - three red, three blue and three yellow. There are also nine houses, three of each colour. Can you put them on the map of Teddy Town according to the rules?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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.
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.
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.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left 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 rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
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!
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.
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?