An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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 work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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 best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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.
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?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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?
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
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?
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?
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.
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?
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?