A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
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?
Ana and Ross looked in a trunk in the attic. They found old cloaks and gowns, hats and masks. How many possible costumes could they make?
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?
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.
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?
The challenge here is to find as many routes as you can for a fence to go so that this town is divided up into two halves, each with 8 blocks.
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?
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?
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 can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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.
What is the smallest number of tiles needed to tile this patio? Can you investigate patios of different sizes?
How many ways can you find of tiling the square patio, using square tiles of different sizes?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
If you have three circular objects, you could arrange them so that they are separate, touching, overlapping or inside each other. Can you investigate all the different possibilities?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
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.
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?
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?
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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?
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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 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?
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?
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
Sally and Ben were drawing shapes in chalk on the school playground. Can you work out what shapes each of them drew using the clues?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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. . . .
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?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
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?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
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.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
Can you make dice stairs using the rules stated? How do you know you have all the possible stairs?
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?