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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
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?
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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.
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?
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!
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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?
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?
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?
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.
Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?
Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
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?
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 could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
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. . . .
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
My cube has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
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!
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?
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.