A little mouse called Delia lives in a hole in the bottom of a tree.....How many days will it be before Delia has to take the same route again?
Alice and Brian are snails who live on a wall and can only travel along the cracks. Alice wants to go to see Brian. How far is the shortest route along the cracks? Is there more than one way to go?
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you work out the arrangement of the digits in the square so that the given products are correct? The numbers 1 - 9 may be used once and once only.
The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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.
Add the sum of the squares of four numbers between 10 and 20 to the sum of the squares of three numbers less than 6 to make the square of another, larger, number.
Can you put the numbers 1 to 8 into the circles so that the four calculations are correct?
There are lots of different methods to find out what the shapes are worth - how many can you find?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Can you put the numbers from 1 to 15 on the circles so that no consecutive numbers lie anywhere along a continuous straight line?
Ten cards are put into five envelopes so that there are two cards in each envelope. The sum of the numbers inside it is written on each envelope. What numbers could be inside the envelopes?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
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 add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
Look carefully at the numbers. What do you notice? Can you make another square using the numbers 1 to 16, that displays the same properties?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?
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?
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.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?
Can you order the digits from 1-3 to make a number which is divisible by 3 so when the last digit is removed it becomes a 2-figure number divisible by 2, and so on?
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.
The planet of Vuvv has seven moons. Can you work out how long it is between each super-eclipse?
Can you work out some different ways to balance this equation?
What is the smallest number of coins needed to make up 12 dollars and 83 cents?
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.
Can you complete this calculation by filling in the missing numbers? In how many different ways can you do it?
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
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?
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. . . .
My dice has inky marks on each face. Can you find the route it has taken? What does each face look like?
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?
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?
This multiplication uses each of the digits 0 - 9 once and once only. Using the information given, can you replace the stars in the calculation with figures?
How could you put these three beads into bags? How many different ways can you do it? How could you record what you've done?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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?
Can you fill in this table square? The numbers 2 -12 were used to generate it with just one number used twice.
When you throw two regular, six-faced dice you have more chance of getting one particular result than any other. What result would that be? Why is this?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?