This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .

This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .

This second article in the series refers to research about levels of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of instruction.

Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.

We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?

Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.

Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.

We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?

Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.

What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?

These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall and work out a way they might fit together?

A package contains a set of resources designed to develop pupils' mathematical thinking. This package places a particular emphasis on “visualising” and is designed to meet the needs. . . .

A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?

A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.

Start with a large square, join the midpoints of its sides, you'll see four right angled triangles. Remove these triangles, a second square is left. Repeat the operation. What happens?

I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?

Take it in turns to place a domino on the grid. One to be placed horizontally and the other vertically. Can you make it impossible for your opponent to play?

Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?

This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .

A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.

The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.

Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?

Here are shadows of some 3D shapes. What shapes could have made them?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?

Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will have holes drilled through them?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the candle and sundial?

Can you work out what is wrong with the cogs on a UK 2 pound coin?

On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?

A game for 2 players. Given a board of dots in a grid pattern, players take turns drawing a line by connecting 2 adjacent dots. Your goal is to complete more squares than your opponent.

Eight children each had a cube made from modelling clay. They cut them into four pieces which were all exactly the same shape and size. Whose pieces are the same? Can you decide who made each set?

How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?

Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves

Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?

Can you work out what shape is made when this piece of paper is folded up using the crease pattern shown?

The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?

Have a go at making a few of these shapes from paper in different sizes. What patterns can you create?

A hundred square has been printed on both sides of a piece of paper. What is on the back of 100? 58? 23? 19?

How can the same pieces of the tangram make this bowl before and after it was chipped? Use the interactivity to try and work out what is going on!

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?