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. . . .

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?

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

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

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 the watering can and man in a boat?

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

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

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?

Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?

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

Can you cut up a square in the way shown and make the pieces into a triangle?

A game has a special dice with a colour spot on each face. These three pictures show different views of the same dice. What colour is opposite blue?

How can you paint the faces of these eight cubes so they can be put together to make a 2 x 2 cube that is green all over AND a 2 x 2 cube that is yellow all over?

What is the greatest number of squares you can make by overlapping three 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.

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th mark?

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

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

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

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

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.

A shape and space game for 2,3 or 4 players. Be the last person to be able to place a pentomino piece on the playing board. Play with card, or on the computer.

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.

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!

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?

Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?

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 outlines of these people?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try to picture these buildings of cubes in your head. Can you make them to check whether you had imagined them correctly?