Surprise your friends with this magic square trick.
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.
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?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice? How could you sort the cards?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
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.
This problem focuses on Dienes' Logiblocs. What is the same and what is different about these pairs of shapes? Can you describe the shapes in the picture?
If you have ten counters numbered 1 to 10, how many can you put into pairs that add to 10? Which ones do you have to leave out? Why?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Ahmed is making rods using different numbers of cubes. Which rod is twice the length of his first rod?
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?
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?
Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.
You have a set of the digits from 0 – 9. Can you arrange these in the five boxes to make two-digit numbers as close to the targets as possible?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
How do you know if your set of dominoes is complete?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
These pictures show squares split into halves. Can you find other ways?
Make a chair and table out of interlocking cubes, making sure that the chair fits under the table!
The Man is much smaller than us. Can you use the picture of him next to a mug to estimate his height and how much tea he drinks?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns with two different types of triangle. You could even try overlapping them.
What is the largest number of circles we can fit into the frame without them overlapping? How do you know? What will happen if you try the other shapes?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and play.
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
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?
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
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?
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
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?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?
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?
Explore the triangles that can be made with seven sticks of the same length.
Try continuing these patterns made from triangles. Can you create your own repeating pattern?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Can you create more models that follow these rules?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
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.
If you count from 1 to 20 and clap more loudly on the numbers in the two times table, as well as saying those numbers loudly, which numbers will be loud?
In this challenge, you will work in a group to investigate circular fences enclosing trees that are planted in square or triangular arrangements.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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.