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?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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?
If these elves wear a different outfit every day for as many days as possible, how many days can their fun last?
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?
This challenge involves calculating the number of candles needed on birthday cakes. It is an opportunity to explore numbers and discover new things.
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.
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?
Investigate the different ways you could split up these rooms so that you have double the number.
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?
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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.
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.
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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.
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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?
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?
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'.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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.
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.
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?
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?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
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?
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
In how many ways can you stack these rods, following the rules?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
I like to walk along the cracks of the paving stones, but not the outside edge of the path itself. How many different routes can you find for me to take?
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
Arrange 3 red, 3 blue and 3 yellow counters into a three-by-three square grid, so that there is only one of each colour in every row and every column
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?
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?
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.
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?
Find the product of the numbers on the routes from A to B. Which route has the smallest product? Which the largest?
There are seven pots of plants in a greenhouse. They have lost their labels. Perhaps you can help re-label them.
Ram divided 15 pennies among four small bags. He could then pay any sum of money from 1p to 15p without opening any bag. How many pennies did Ram put in each bag?