How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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 models can you find which obey these rules?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
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?
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?
Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
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.
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.
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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.
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five equilateral triangles edge to edge.
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. . . .
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
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 order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?