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 these convex shapes?

Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?

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

Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.

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

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

Draw some isosceles triangles with an area of $9$cm$^2$ and a vertex at (20,20). If all the vertices must have whole number coordinates, how many is it possible to draw?

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

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

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 this plaque design?

What shape is the overlap when you slide one of these shapes half way across another? Can you picture it in your head? Use the interactivity to check your visualisation.

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?

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?

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

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 Mai Ling and Chi Wing?

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

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.

Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

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!

An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles. Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?

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

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?

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

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

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

Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know when it is your turn to ring?

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 the child walking home from school?

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

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 these people?