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?
Here are four cubes joined together. How many other arrangements of four cubes can you find? Can you draw them on dotty paper?
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.
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
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 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?
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.
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?
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?
How will you go about finding all the jigsaw pieces that have one peg and one hole?
This article for primary teachers suggests ways in which to help children become better at working systematically.
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so if you work in a systematic way, you won't leave any out.
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?
Use the clues to work out which cities Mohamed, Sheng, Tanya and Bharat live in.
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps to have an ordered approach.
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?
Six friends sat around a circular table. Can you work out from the information who sat where and what their profession were?
These activities focus on finding all possible solutions so working in a systematic way will ensure none are left out.
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?
A thoughtful shepherd used bales of straw to protect the area around his lambs. Explore how you can arrange the bales.
Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remove them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Imagine you have an unlimited number of four types of triangle. How many different tetrahedra can you make?
Can you help the children find the two triangles which have the lengths of two sides numerically equal to their areas?
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. . . .
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
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.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
These activities lend themselves to systematic working in the sense that it helps if you have an ordered approach.
Can you create jigsaw pieces which are based on a square shape, with at least one peg and one hole?
Sitting around a table are three girls and three boys. Use the clues to work out were each person is sitting.
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?
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?
The Zargoes use almost the same alphabet as English. What does this birthday message say?
These are the faces of Will, Lil, Bill, Phil and Jill. Use the clues to work out which name goes with each face.
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.
What is the smallest number of jumps needed before the white rabbits and the grey rabbits can continue along their path?
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?
If you had 36 cubes, what different cuboids could you make?
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?
These practical challenges are all about making a 'tray' and covering it with paper.
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
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?
What is the largest 'ribbon square' you can make? And the smallest? How many different squares can you make altogether?
Investigate the smallest number of moves it takes to turn these mats upside-down if you can only turn exactly three at a time.
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?