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?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
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?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
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'.
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.
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.
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?
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.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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. . . .
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.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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?
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?