Wrapping Presents Mathematically

We can use mathematics to wrap presents efficiently, minimising the amount of wrapping paper we use. Explore this with your students!

Curriculum Topics Covered

Wrapping Presents Investigation involves finding lengths and area of shapes, problem solving and working systematically, but doesn’t necessarily involve using algebra.

Wrapping Presents with Maths has three tasks. Task 1 and 2 involve GCSE level material: use of algebra, Pythagoras’ Theorem, surds. Task 3 uses A-Level material: differentiation, solving polynomials.

More information

Have a look at our teacher notes for solutions.

Alternative task ideas include challenging your students to find the dimensions of the piece of wrapping paper that needs to be cut out to wrap a cylinder efficiently, or to wrap a triangular prism (think Toblerone) efficiently. Katie Steckles made a video (below) a few years ago that answers these questions. Have a watch!