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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Making A Wooden Tangram

I had never heard of a tangram until I began reading homeschool blogs. I did some research and learned that tangrams are an ancient Chinese puzzle.  They consist of 7 pieces, called tans, made of geometric shapes. There is one square, 2 small triangles, 1 medium triangle, 2 larger triangles, and 1 parallelogram. The object is to create shapes using all 7 tans. The tans must lay flat and each piece must touch but none may overlap.

In my research I found an interesting interactive tangram puzzle at National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. I challenged Alexis to play and we had a lot of fun. There are mathematical benefits to tangrams. The experts say using tangrams helps you to gain a better understanding of geometry and spatial skills.

Since Alexis enjoyed the interactive game I decided to make her a wooden tangram puzzle.


 For mine, I used a scrap piece of wood found in my basement and cut it to 6 inches square. I created grid lines every 1.5 inches. Look at this tutorial on making a tangram for a more detailed explanation. (Foam sheets would work for this project as well.)


After I got all of my pieces cut, I painted each piece of my puzzle just to make it look a little nicer. You can see I also made a puzzle booklet of shapes to create with my tangram puzzle using these tangram templates


This is a cat I made with my puzzle pieces. Ok...thanks for reading about my tangram...I'm off to see if this homemade gift will impress my 7 year old.

**Just an afterthought...if you were to make 2 puzzles you could challenge an opponent to see who could make the desired shape the fastest.



1 comment:

  1. Very nice! I hope Alexis liked it. We have a lot of various tangrams around the house, including the one that is always hanging on the fridge. I think it's time to start challenging daughter more with them.

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