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.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with 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?
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.
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?
Make your own double-sided magic square. But can you complete both sides once you've made the pieces?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Can you each work out the number on your card? What do you notice? How could you sort the cards?
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a special way?
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Make new patterns from simple turning instructions. You can have a go using pencil and paper or with a floor robot.
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?
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?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Factors and Multiples game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you win this game?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and play.
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Take a counter and surround it by a ring of other counters that MUST touch two others. How many are needed?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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.
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?
Can you work out what shape is made by folding in this way? Why not create some patterns using this shape but in different sizes?
Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what you see? Why not try and make one yourself?
This practical investigation invites you to make tessellating shapes in a similar way to the artist Escher.
A game in which players take it in turns to choose a number. Can you block your opponent?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how it works?
Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.
Time for a little mathemagic! Choose any five cards from a pack and show four of them to your partner. How can they work out the fifth?
Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.
Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and making spirals.
What do these two triangles have in common? How are they related?
Here are some ideas to try in the classroom for using counters to investigate number patterns.
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.
This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?
Can you cut up a square in the way shown and make the pieces into a triangle?
Make a flower design using the same shape made out of different sizes of paper.
This practical problem challenges you to create shapes and patterns with two different types of triangle. You could even try overlapping them.