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One of the  fun as well as educational Summer activities for children is using Tangrams, a mathematical puzzle game. As the name sounds, it is an intellectual Chinese puzzle with seven flat shapes called tans consisting of  five  isosceles right triangles  (two big, one medium and two small ones), one parallelogram and one square. In Chinese, this puzzle is called as "Chi-Chiao Pan" meaning "the seven intriguing pieces". Out of these seven pieces, except parallelogram all other pieces have reflection symmetry but parallelogram has rotational symmetry meaning that it has to rotated to obtain its reflection symmetry. The Eighth Book of Tan by Sam Loyd is a popular tangram puzzle which is said to be originated  4000 years ago has many shapes including puzzles that are impossible to solve.

Objective of the Tangram Puzzle :
To form a specific pattern or shape using all the seven flat pieces together. These can  includes people shapes, geometric shapes, animal shapes and many more basic to complex patterns.

tangrams

Tangram as a teaching tool :
Tangrams for children helps in teaching them all about shapes, ratios and basic geometry. Tangram puzzle also helps in improving their mathematical skills configuring different ways to solve the puzzle and also helps in improving their concentration skill.

TANGRAM PUZZLE/SHAPE TEMPLATE

tangrams

tangrams

With Tangrams, we can form people puzzle, animal figures, basic shapes and may other pattern. The options are endless. 

Artwork using Tangram shapes with kids

Materials needed
  • A4 Craft Papers (or any plain papers) - 6 [ for creating 2 tangrams on 1 background - one each for my 2 kids]
  • Crayons 
  • Scissors
  • Gum 


tangrams
  1. With the given template, create four such tangram shapes on  four of the papers and cut them as given in the above image. Keep the rest two A4 papers for the background ( I used maroon for the background).
  2. Let your kids colour the tans using crayons or use plain tans as per their interest. My daughter loved to color whereas my son went for the plain ones.
  3. Ask the kids to align a specific shapes guiding them with your own tans. Give them ample time to form the shape on their background paper.
  4. Finally let the kids apply gum on the backside of their tans and stick them onto the background paper without moving the created tangram shape and let it dry.


The Hare and the Tortoise 

tangrams

The Woman and the Man

tangrams

Kids find these seven-piece tangram puzzle shapes interesting and fun letting them to play for hours creating variety of shapes and patterns. Also, kids can come up with new forms of figures and pattern naming it as bear, lion and so like they do with the clouds in the sky. With tangrams, the options are endless for creating number of designs , plain or colorful and thus keeps the kids as well as the parents entertained.



17 comments:

  1. Anonymous22 July, 2013

    Indeed a very nice Puzzle game which will not only keep the Kids busy but also will make their mind sharp... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! My kids were confused at first but after a couple of tries they found it easy and they enjoy doing it :)

      Delete
  2. lovely!! i remember playing with these as a kid at my friend's place, her dad was fond of these i think. i will try making them at home :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is easy to make at home and still keep the fun around. Great that you already knew about this :)

      Delete
  3. Anonymous22 July, 2013

    i second Harsha !! nice stuff !

    ReplyDelete
  4. My kid is growing fast,need to try Tangram Puzzles :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, we can spend quality time with kids by such activities :)

      Delete
  5. Anonymous23 July, 2013

    This is real fun!
    Smart...intellectual!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous23 July, 2013

    Nice...its will make real fun haha :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. interesting & informative

    ReplyDelete

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