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

This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.

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

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

A merchant brings four bars of gold to a jeweller. How can the jeweller use the scales just twice to identify the lighter, fake bar?

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?

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 are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.

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?

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?

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?

If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?

This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.

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?

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

How could you put eight beanbags in the hoops so that there are four in the blue hoop, five in the red and six in the yellow? Can you find all the ways of doing this?

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?

Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

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

The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?

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 best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?

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.

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?

Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.

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.

Suppose we allow ourselves to use three numbers less than 10 and multiply them together. How many different products can you find? How do you know you've got them all?

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.

In the planet system of Octa the planets are arranged in the shape of an octahedron. How many different routes could be taken to get from Planet A to Planet Zargon?

Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.

Place the numbers 1 to 8 in the circles so that no consecutive numbers are joined by a line.

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?

Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.

You cannot choose a selection of ice cream flavours that includes totally what someone has already chosen. Have a go and find all the different ways in which seven children can have ice cream.

Number problems for lower primary that will get you thinking.

Exactly 195 digits have been used to number the pages in a book. How many pages does the book have?

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?

Is it possible to place 2 counters on the 3 by 3 grid so that there is an even number of counters in every row and every column? How about if you have 3 counters or 4 counters or....?

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?

How many models can you find which obey these rules?

Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?

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?

Can you work out how to balance this equaliser? You can put more than one weight on a hook.

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

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

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

In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?

In this challenge, buckets come in five different sizes. If you choose some buckets, can you investigate the different ways in which they can be filled?

This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.