Roll two red dice and a green dice. Add the two numbers on the red dice and take away the number on the green. What are all the different possible answers?
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?
Try out the lottery that is played in a far-away land. What is the chance of winning?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
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?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are differently sized and which are 'similar'?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Move your counters through this snake of cards and see how far you can go. Are you surprised by where you end up?
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?
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?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
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. . . .
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
My cousin was 24 years old on Friday April 5th in 1974. On what day of the week was she born?
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 I fold a 0-20 number line, I end up with 'stacks' of numbers on top of each other. These challenges involve varying the length of the number line and investigating the 'stack totals'.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
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?
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?
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?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
This article for teachers suggests activities based on pegboards, from pattern generation to finding all possible triangles, for example.
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight and 7 a.m.?
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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?
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?
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.