Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
We went to the cinema and decided to buy some bags of popcorn so we asked about the prices. Investigate how much popcorn each bag holds so find out which we might have bought.
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
In this investigation, we look at Pascal's Triangle in a slightly different way - rotated and with the top line of ones taken off.
While we were sorting some papers we found 3 strange sheets which seemed to come from small books but there were page numbers at the foot of each page. Did the pages come from the same book?
We need to wrap up this cube-shaped present, remembering that we can have no overlaps. What shapes can you find to use?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
Investigate these hexagons drawn from different sized equilateral triangles.
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are visible?
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?
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?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?
How can you arrange these 10 matches in four piles so that when you move one match from three of the piles into the fourth, you end up with the same arrangement?
Bernard Bagnall describes how to get more out of some favourite NRICH investigations.
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
If I use 12 green tiles to represent my lawn, how many different ways could I arrange them? How many border tiles would I need each time?
Investigate the numbers that come up on a die as you roll it in the direction of north, south, east and west, without going over the path it's already made.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Investigate the area of 'slices' cut off this cube of cheese. What would happen if you had different-sized block of cheese to start with?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
How many faces can you see when you arrange these three cubes in different ways?
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.
Why does the tower look a different size in each of these pictures?
Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
Explore one of these five pictures.
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.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
What is the largest cuboid you can wrap in an A3 sheet of paper?
Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?
How many different shaped boxes can you design for 36 sweets in one layer? Can you arrange the sweets so that no sweets of the same colour are next to each other in any direction?
Can you make these equilateral triangles fit together to cover the paper without any gaps between them? Can you tessellate isosceles triangles?
Can you find out how the 6-triangle shape is transformed in these tessellations? Will the tessellations go on for ever? Why or why not?
Arrange your fences to make the largest rectangular space you can. Try with four fences, then five, then six etc.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.
Bernard Bagnall looks at what 'problem solving' might really mean in the context of primary classrooms.
This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?
A follow-up activity to Tiles in the Garden.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
How many tiles do we need to tile these patios?