Start with three pairs of socks. Now mix them up so that no mismatched pair is the same as another mismatched pair. Is there more than one way to do it?
El Crico the cricket has to cross a square patio to get home. He can jump the length of one tile, two tiles and three tiles. Can you find a path that would get El Crico home in three jumps?
In Sam and Jill's garden there are two sorts of ladybirds with 7 spots or 4 spots. What numbers of total spots can you make?
My briefcase has a three-number combination lock, but I have forgotten the combination. I remember that there's a 3, a 5 and an 8. How many possible combinations are there to try?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Seven friends went to a fun fair with lots of scary rides. They decided to pair up for rides until each friend had ridden once with each of the others. What was the total number rides?
The Red Express Train usually has five red carriages. How many ways can you find to add two blue carriages?
Lorenzie was packing his bag for a school trip. He packed four shirts and three pairs of pants. "I will be able to have a different outfit each day", he said. How many days will Lorenzie be away?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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 rearrange the biscuits on the plates so that the three biscuits on each plate are all different and there is no plate with two biscuits the same as two biscuits on another plate?
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?
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?
This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
How many different rectangles can you make using this set of rods?
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?
When intergalactic Wag Worms are born they look just like a cube. Each year they grow another cube in any direction. Find all the shapes that five-year-old Wag Worms can be.
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.
In a bowl there are 4 Chocolates, 3 Jellies and 5 Mints. Find a way to share the sweets between the three children so they each get the kind they like. Is there more than one way to do it?
Find all the numbers that can be made by adding the dots on two dice.
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
How many possible necklaces can you find? And how do you know you've found them all?
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 rules.
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
Use the information to describe these marbles. What colours must be on marbles that sparkle when rolling but are dark inside?
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?
When I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.
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?
Tim's class collected data about all their pets. Can you put the animal names under each column in the block graph using the information?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
The Vikings communicated in writing by making simple scratches on wood or stones called runes. Can you work out how their code works using the table of the alphabet?
Lolla bought a balloon at the circus. She gave the clown six coins to pay for it. What could Lolla have paid for the balloon?
Systematically explore the range of symmetric designs that can be created by shading parts of the motif below. Use normal square lattice paper to record your results.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Use the clues to find out who's who in the family, to fill in the family tree and to find out which of the family members are mathematicians and which are not.