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 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?
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?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
If we had 16 light bars which digital numbers could we make? How will you know you've found them all?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
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?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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?
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 working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
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?
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?
Make a pair of cubes that can be moved to show all the days of the month from the 1st to the 31st.
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.
This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
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?
Are all the possible combinations of two shapes included in this set of 27 cards? How do you know?
I was in my car when I noticed a line of four cars on the lane next to me with number plates starting and ending with J, K, L and M. What order were they in?
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?
There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.
Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?
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?