What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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?
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.
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?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
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?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remove them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
My local DIY shop calculates the price of its windows according to the area of glass and the length of frame used. Can you work out how they arrived at these prices?
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?
When newspaper pages get separated at home we have to try to sort them out and get things in the correct order. How many ways can we arrange these pages so that the numbering may be different?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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.
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.
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. . . .
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?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
The letters of the word ABACUS have been arranged in the shape of a triangle. How many different ways can you find to read the word ABACUS from this triangular pattern?
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?
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?
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.
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Investigate all the different squares you can make on this 5 by 5 grid by making your starting side go from the bottom left hand point. Can you find out the areas of all these squares?
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 DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?