If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
In this investigation, you must try to make houses using cubes. If the base must not spill over 4 squares and you have 7 cubes which stand for 7 rooms, what different designs can you come up with?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
How many models can you find which obey these rules?
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?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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.
Penta people, the Pentominoes, always build their houses from five square rooms. I wonder how many different Penta homes you can create?
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
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?
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?
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.
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 can you put five cereal packets together to make different shapes if you must put them face-to-face?
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?
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?
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.
Cut differently-sized square corners from a square piece of paper to make boxes without lids. Do they all have the same volume?
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?
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Find all the different shapes that can be made by joining five equilateral triangles edge to edge.
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. . . .
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.
How many triangles can you make on the 3 by 3 pegboard?
This activity investigates how you might make squares and pentominoes from Polydron.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
An activity making various patterns with 2 x 1 rectangular tiles.
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
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.
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.?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
Place eight dots on this diagram, so that there are only two dots on each straight line and only two dots on each circle.
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?
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.
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 order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
How many trapeziums, of various sizes, are hidden in this picture?
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?
This tricky challenge asks you to find ways of going across rectangles, going through exactly ten squares.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
Place eight queens on an chessboard (an 8 by 8 grid) so that none can capture any of the others.
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?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
How many rectangles can you find in this shape? Which ones are differently sized and which are 'similar'?
Can you draw a square in which the perimeter is numerically equal to the area?
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?