How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five equilateral triangles edge to edge.
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?
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 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?
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?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
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?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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.
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?
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.
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
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 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?
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?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
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?
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?