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 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. . . .

A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?

An activity centred around observations of dots and how we visualise number arrangement patterns.

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.

In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?

You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals have an even number of red counters?

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

Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?

Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?

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?

Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?

Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the opposite direction.

What does the overlap of these two shapes look like? Try picturing it in your head and then use the interactivity to test your prediction.

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?

Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?

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

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!

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

What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?

If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?

Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.

An extension of noughts and crosses in which the grid is enlarged and the length of the winning line can to altered to 3, 4 or 5.

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the telescope and microscope?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?

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?

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?

How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?

Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?

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 this brazier for roasting chestnuts?

How many balls of modelling clay and how many straws does it take to make these skeleton shapes?

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

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?

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

This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?

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?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the workmen?

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