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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
Jack has nine tiles. He put them together to make a square so that two tiles of the same colour were not beside each other. Can you find another way to do it?
Arrange 3 red, 3 blue and 3 yellow counters into a three-by-three square grid, so that there is only one of each colour in every row and every column
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
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 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?
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.
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 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?
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.
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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?
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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.
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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. . . .