Let's suppose that you are going to have a magazine which has 16 pages of A5 size. Can you find some different ways to make these pages? Investigate the pattern for each if you number the pages.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least 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?
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
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?
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
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.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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?
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?
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?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
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 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?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
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.
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Write the numbers up to 64 in an interesting way so that the shape they make at the end is interesting, different, more exciting ... than just a square.
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.
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.