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. . . .

Have a go at making a few of these shapes from paper in different sizes. What patterns can you create?

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this shape. How would you describe it?

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

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

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!

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

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

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?

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

Make a flower design using the same shape made out of different sizes of paper.

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

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

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 outlines of the lobster, yacht and cyclist?

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?

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 ...

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

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?

Use the lines on this figure to show how the square can be divided into 2 halves, 3 thirds, 6 sixths and 9 ninths.

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

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

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?

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

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?

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?

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?

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.

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

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

Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this plaque design?

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

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

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

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

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.

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?

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

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

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?

This article looks at levels of geometric thinking and the types of activities required to develop this thinking.