This second article in the series refers to research about levels
of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
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. . . .
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
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?
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?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
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 make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
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.
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged
L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard that has nine pegs?
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?
A game for two players on a large squared space.
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?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
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?
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.
What does the overlap of these two shapes look like? Try picturing
it in your head and then use the interactivity to test your
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!
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of
activities required to develop this thinking.
Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There
are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many
different ways can they build their houses?
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?
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
Where can you put the mirror across the square so that you can still "see" the whole square? How many different positions are possible?
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an
opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and
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?
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?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
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 dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
Can you find ways of joining cubes together so that 28 faces are
Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and
Here are shadows of some 3D shapes. What shapes could have made