Two experiments examined the nature of visuo-spatial mental imagery generation and maintenance in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-year old children and adults (N = 211). The key questions were how image generation and maintenance develop (Experiment 1) and how accurately chil- dren and adults coordinate mental and visually perceived images (Experiment 2). Experi- ment 1 indicated that basic image generation and maintenance abilities are present at 4 years of age but the precision with which images are generated and maintained improves particularly between 4 and 8 years. In addition to increased precision, Experiment 2 demon- strated that generated and maintained mental images become increasingly similar to visu- ally perceived objects. Altogether, findings suggest that for simple tasks demanding image generation and maintenance, children attain adult-like precision younger than previously reported. This research also sheds new light on the ability to coordinate mental images with visual images in children and adults.