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. . . .

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

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

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?

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

For this task, you'll need an A4 sheet and two A5 transparent sheets. Decide on a way of arranging the A5 sheets on top of the A4 sheet and explore ...

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?

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!

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

Can you work out what shape is made when this piece of paper is folded up using the crease pattern shown?

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.

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

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?

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

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 outlines of the chairs?

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 outline of Little Fung at the table?

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

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

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?

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 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 outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?

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

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

How many balls of modelling clay and how many straws does it take to make these skeleton shapes?

We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?

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

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 outline of these rabbits?

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 plaque design?

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

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

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

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 Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?

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

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?

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

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

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