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 two players. You'll need some counters.
A variant on the game Alquerque
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 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.
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?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
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.
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.
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?
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 1 person. Can you work out how the dice must be rolled from the start position to the finish? Play on line.
Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the opposite direction.
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?
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?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
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.
A game for 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
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.
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 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 together?
Seeing Squares game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
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.
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
A game for two players on a large squared space.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming?
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?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
This problem invites you to build 3D shapes using two different triangles. Can you make the shapes from the pictures?
Which of these dice are right-handed and which are left-handed?
Here are shadows of some 3D shapes. What shapes could have made them?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Paint a stripe on a cardboard roll. Can you predict what will happen when it is rolled across a sheet of paper?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?
Can you work out what shape is made when this piece of paper is folded up using the crease pattern shown?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
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 lobster, yacht and cyclist?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the child walking home from school?
This second article in the series refers to research about levels of development of spatial thinking and the possible influence of instruction.
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
Exploring and predicting folding, cutting and punching holes and making spirals.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the watering can and man in a boat?