What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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'.
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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
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?
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?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
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?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
How can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
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 lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
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 work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope with twelve equal sections divided by knots. What other triangles could you make if you had a rope like this?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
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.
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
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.
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?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
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?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
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?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.