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?
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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 smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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?
Can you find all the different ways of lining up these Cuisenaire rods?
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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.
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?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
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. . . .
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 make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover an eight by eight chessboard?
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?
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.
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.