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Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

The Tangram Puzzle

Monkey Pod Games Wooden Tangram Set
When I saw this tangram set on Love2learn2day, I fell in love with it. I had to order one. When I received it, I was pleasantly surprised how thick these wooden pieces are -they are 1/2 inch thick! They make the most pleasant clinking sound when you are playing with them. We have some plastic sets and have had fun wth tangrams before, but these wooden pieces were really fun to play with. After playing with them, following the cards, for awhile, we decided to put them away. But arranging the puzzle pieces of the tangram into just a square so that it could fit back into its box proved to be a difficult task! It took three of us about an hour to figure it out, I am embarrassed to admit! The little boys at one point began to doubt that it actually was a square that fit in that space after all. I decided to make a tangram from a piece of paper to convince them that the square could be made.

A set of tangrams can be made any time you have a square of paper at hand.

First fold your square in half, like this so the fold line makes two triangles.
Now tear apart the two triangles along the fold line.
Take one of the triangles so that the torn edge is at the bottom, and one point is pointing up.
Now fold your paper so the points on either end of the torn sides are together.
You should get two new triangles when you tear them apart along the fold line. Put them aside.

Pick up the other big triangle and place it with the torn edge down and one point up, just as you did the first one, but don't fold it the same way. Take the top point and fold it down until it touches the middle of the bottom edge. It should make a little triangle on the top part of the big triangle.
Now tear along the fold line. Put the little triangle aside with the other two triangles.
Take one of the two bottom pieces, keeping the longest side on the bottom...
Fold the longest side so that you get a square on one side and a triangle on the other.
Now tear the square and the triangle apart and put them aside with the triangles.
Now take the other odd shape and place it so that the pointed edge is on the left and the flat edge is on the right. Now fold the bottom right hand corner up until it comes to the top left corner. If you do it correctly, you will get a parallelogram piece and a small triangle.
You now should have seven pieces.
Can you put them back together into a square?
After we did that we played with the wooden set again, first with the blue side of the cards, which shows how the tangrams fit together to make the different shapes.
and then with the brown side which just has the outline. You have to figure out how the tangrams come together to form the shapes.

8 comments:

  1. I totally flopped on the tangram card portion of the TAG entrance test, back in my school days - I've been intimidated by those cards ever since. I think they'd be fun for family game night, though.

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  2. Nice set. I've only seen these as a much smaller, plastic set from a Christmas cracker. The wooden set makes it far more tempting to play. Another idea for Christmas, I think.

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  3. It's funny that you mentioned TAG, because I used to use tangrams ALL THE TIME when I taught Talented and Gifted children- it's one of those puzzles that truly can keep about any mind busy. These wooden ones are especially nice!

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  4. I love tangrams, and yes, the square is hard to figure out. The first time I tried to put mine back in a square, I too began to doubt that it had ever really been a square.

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  5. Wow that set is gorgeous. I WANT it.

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  6. How funny! I looked at the set really hard before I took it out of the box because I was worried I wouldn't remember how to put it back in! :) They are really nice pieces. I'd never seen anything but plastic until getting this set.

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  7. I bought a set for a friend but I really want one too!! We did the cut out tangrams in class. Love tangrams! They do get easier with practice!

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  8. Thank you for directing me to this post - It's a great tutorial on how to cut out your pieces with simple folds - I wish I had seen that before we started out with our tangrams!

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