How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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. . . .
What is the least number of moves you can take to rearrange the bears so that no bear is next to a bear of the same colour?
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'.
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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 will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
A tetromino is made up of four squares joined edge to edge. Can this tetromino, together with 15 copies of itself, be used to cover an eight by eight chessboard?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
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?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Two children made up a game as they walked along the garden paths. Can you find out their scores? Can you find some paths of your own?
Moira is late for school. What is the shortest route she can take from the school gates to the entrance?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?
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?
Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
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?
Can you find out in which order the children are standing in this line?
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.
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.
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?
In this maze of hexagons, you start in the centre at 0. The next hexagon must be a multiple of 2 and the next a multiple of 5. What are the possible paths you could take?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.