Students' early area concepts were investigated by an analysis of responses to a worksheet of items that involved visualising the tiling of given figures. Students in Years 2 and 4 in four schools attempted the items on three occasions and some of the students completed ten classroom spatial activities. Half the students had difficulty visualising the tiling of shapes, but students who participated in spatial activities were generally more successful in determining the number of tiles that would cover a shape. Students' drawings indicated a varying awareness of structural features such as alignment and tile size. Students who drew the tilings were more likely to be successful on the items involving trapezia. The tiling items were part of a test of spatial thinking, Thinking About 2D Shapes, and scores on the overall test were very highly correlated with results for the tiling items.