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13th July 2001 at 01:00
Mathematical games that combine theoretical insight with aesthetic satisfaction are rare and valuable. Fractiles-7 is a set of 192 magnetic red, blue and yellow tiles to be placed on a steel board. As the tiles use three diamond shapes, with angles incorporating multiples of one-fourteenth of 360 degrees, they can be combined into millions of combinations.

The solutions involve reflectional and rotational symmetry, or random but repetitive patterns. Fractiles-7 costs pound;35 plus pound;3 pamp;p from Paul Godding, PO Box 260, Newport, South Wales NP20 4XR. Tel: 07970 868121. Fax: 07970 883031. Email: info@PAULGODDING.com Website: www.paulgodding.com

Answering the young person's question "What can I do now?" is a never-ending task. The Adventure Service Challenge multi-faith charity has just celebrated 40 years of providing programmes of activities through which volunteers aged eight and upwards can realise untapped potential and develop a sense of self-respect and social responsibility. For younger participants, areas such as cooking, first-aid and road safety are offered; for teenagers, there is exploration, rambling and sports. For both groups, thinking of the needs of others and setting new targets play an essential part. Further information, including an illustrated brochure, is available from the general secretary, ASC Scheme, East Lynn, Lansdown Lane, Bath BA1 4NB. Telfax: 01225 329838. Email: asc@asc-scheme.org.uk Website: www.asc-scheme.org.uk

Transforming the ordinary into the unusual is always appealing. Minky Makes Presents for Everyone is a video for teachers, parents and young children showing how everyday objects - balloons, lentils, paper, stones, flour, plastic bottles - can be turned without huge effort into attractive gifts such as juggling balls, vases, jewellery, bookends or picture frames. The processes are demonstrated in feverish five-minute sections by a presenter and her animated friends. Accompanying notes suggest how the activities can also spark a broader investigation of design principles.

Minky Makes Presents for Everyone costs pound;12.95 from Formative Years Limited, Stonelands, Selsfield Road, West Hoathly, West Sussex RH19 4QY. Tel: 01342 826555. Fax: 01342 811649. Website: www.formativeyears.co.uk Every summer young people die playing in quarries - drowned after getting cramp while swimming in icy water, buried under sand or gravel, falling from rock faces. Play SafeI Stay Safe is a free resource pack that warns pupils at key stages 2 and 3 of the dangers. Work cards focus on hazard-spotting, first-aid and role-playing about being "chicken". The video is more telling. With brief dramatised scenes of accidents intercut with advice from paramedics and site managers, it demonstrates that prudence and cowardice are not the same.

The free Play SafeI Stay Safe pack can be ordered with a 12-minute video, which costs pound;5, from Quarry Products Association, 156 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9TR. Tel: 020 7730 8194. Fax: 020 7730 4355. Email: info@qpa.org. Work cards and order forms: www.qpa.org

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