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.

Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

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?

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.

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?

What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?

Take three differently coloured blocks - maybe red, yellow and blue. Make a tower using one of each colour. How many different towers can you make?

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?

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?

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?

These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.

Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?

Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.

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?

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?

There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.

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?

Chandra, Jane, Terry and Harry ordered their lunches from the sandwich shop. Use the information below to find out who ordered each sandwich.

My coat has three buttons. How many ways can you find to do up all the buttons?

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?

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?

Nina must cook some pasta for 15 minutes but she only has a 7-minute sand-timer and an 11-minute sand-timer. How can she use these timers to measure exactly 15 minutes?

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?

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.

Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?

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?

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.

How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?

These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.

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 activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.

This challenge is to design different step arrangements, which must go along a distance of 6 on the steps and must end up at 6 high.

What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?

Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.

These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.

Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?

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?

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?

If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?

These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.

Number problems for lower primary that will get you thinking.

A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.