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. . . .

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

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

Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?

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

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 ...

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?

How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?

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 Little Ming playing the board game?

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

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

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 many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

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

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

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

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?

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

Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?

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

If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?

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

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

What shape is made when you fold using this crease pattern? Can you make a ring design?

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

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

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

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 watering can and man in a boat?

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 Wai Ping, Wah Ming and Chi Wing?

In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?

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

Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number and an even number of paths to the same vertex?

A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?

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 the lobster, yacht and cyclist?

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 these clocks?

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

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 candle and sundial?

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