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. . . .

Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?

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

A game for 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.

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

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 Little Fung at the table?

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?

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 this telephone?

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

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?

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

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

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

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

A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?

Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.

Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?

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

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

Looking at the picture of this Jomista Mat, can you decribe what you see? Why not try and make one yourself?

In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.

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

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

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.

This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?

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

Can you work out what shape is made by folding in this way? Why not create some patterns using this shape but in different sizes?

Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.

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?

Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?

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.

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.

Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?

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 outlines of Mai Ling and Chi Wing?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?

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 cut up a square in the way shown and make the pieces into a triangle?

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 the lobster, yacht and cyclist?

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

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