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. . . .

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

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 outline of this shape. How would you describe it?

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?

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 the child walking home from school?

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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?

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

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

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 outline of the rocket?

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

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.

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

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

Here's a simple way to make a Tangram without any measuring or ruling lines.

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

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these convex shapes?

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

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

This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of activities required to develop this thinking.

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

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. . . .

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.