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?
Kimie and Sebastian were making sticks from interlocking cubes and lining them up. Can they make their lines the same length? Can they make any other lines?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and play.
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?
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?
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.
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?
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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 order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Can you deduce the pattern that has been used to lay out these bottle tops?
How do you know if your set of dominoes is complete?
Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.
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?
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?
Can you predict when you'll be clapping and when you'll be clicking if you start this rhythm? How about when a friend begins a new rhythm at the same time?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping three squares?
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many different ways can they build their houses?
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns with two different types of triangle. You could even try overlapping them.
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
Explore the triangles that can be made with seven sticks of the same length.
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!
Is there a best way to stack cans? What do different supermarkets do? How high can you safely stack the cans?
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Have a look at what happens when you pull a reef knot and a granny knot tight. Which do you think is best for securing things together? Why?
This was a problem for our birthday website. Can you use four of these pieces to form a square? How about making a square with all five pieces?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Ahmed is making rods using different numbers of cubes. Which rod is twice the length of his first rod?
What are the next three numbers in this sequence? Can you explain why are they called pyramid numbers?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.