This paper describes a study exploring young people’s perceptions of the mathematics involved in five everyday activities. It is based on individual interviews with pupils in Years 7 and 10 in four English secondary schools. Results suggest that young people are more aware of the mathematics embedded in everyday activities than previously thought. There was no evidence to support existing theories that young people have particular difficulties identifying mathematics within practical activities or those traditionally performed by women. However, participants did seem to restrict the label mathematics to activities involving a problem with a single or limited solution, and to activities which require a formal rather than experimental or intuitive approach. Some participants also seemed to relate their discussion of mathematics only to the aspect of each activity which takes most time and attention.