Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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?
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
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?
Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of
rabbit there are in these pens?
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?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these
mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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!
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
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
You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and
the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you
measure and how?
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?
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots
on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
Starting with four different triangles, imagine you have an
unlimited number of each type. How many different tetrahedra can
you make? Convince us you have found them all.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
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 can you put five cereal packets together to make different
shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
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?
Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the
difference between the two numbers just below it.
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no
consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?