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. . . .

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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 Little Fung at the table?

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 this telephone?

What happens when you turn these cogs? Investigate the differences between turning two cogs of different sizes and two cogs which are the same.

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 Granma T?

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

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

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

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?

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

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?

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

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.

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?

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this sports car?

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

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.

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?

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.

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 outline of Little Ming and Little Fung dancing?

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

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

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 these rabbits?

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

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

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 outline of this plaque design?