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. . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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?

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

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?

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

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Mai Ling?

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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?

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 outline of this shape. How would you describe it?

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

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

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!

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

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 outlines of these people?

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

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?

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?

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

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 outline of this telephone?

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?

A game for 1 person. Can you work out how the dice must be rolled from the start position to the finish? Play on line.

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.

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

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

Create a pattern on the left-hand grid. How could you extend your pattern on the right-hand grid?