The basic square is the foundation to Tangram Chinese puzzles.
The original or traditional math-based tangram game consists of one large square divided into seven distinct parts
These seven pieces (7 tans) are then arranged into one recognizable shape at a time positioned in various poses such as running, flying, sitting, etc:
One tangram puzzle can produce many different shapes by rearranging the pieces randomly until a recognizable shape appears. Of course none of the tans may overlap and all must touch each other in some fashion.
Tangram puzzles remind me of the mosaics of Pompei and stained glass window designs. My parents loved to make mosaic designs to rerurface old tables. I remember them both cautioning me to stand back while they broke various colored glass bottles that they had collected from a fun, scavaging day at the old county dump to use as pieces for the table design. I learned glass is very sharp but the rewards of a beautiful mosaic design might is worth the incidental nick or two.
When I created these whimsical, non-traditional tangrams, I'd print each design, cut the pieces out and place the pieces in individually marked envelopes.
These envelopes traveled with me to work, the doctors, dentists offices, on the commute train. Anytime I found a few idle moments, I'd arrange and rearrange these tans to find as many solutions as possible.
It became a sure-fire conversation stearter. I introduced tangram into hospital and dental waiting rooms, at the office, in break rooms and restaurants. People would often watch as I'd try many different angles. Occasionally someone would suggest a move, or declare that the design looked like an animal or bird, etc.
Make Tangram Felt-Board games
Bring along as travel games to keep the children entertained with educational fun. Share at family get-to-gethers, day care centers and school.
Provide pencils and pads of plain paper so children can keep a diary and re-draw and record the different shapes. Solutions not provided here as the purpose of the tangram puzzle is to encourage creativity.
Paper Trivia: Did you know that you can only fold a sheet of printer paper in half seven times? Give it a try. It doesn't matter how thick or thin the paper is, once you get to the seventh fold, the paper will not bend or budge.
Sun catchers. To create a translucent, stained glass ornaments effect, apply a bit of lemon oil to the back sides of paper ornaments to create a.
Hang the ornaments on trees, in windows, anywhere bright colorful decorations are desired.
Construct a large paper-tree for the wall with shades of green construction paper. Draw a large tree on a sheet of easel pad paper to tack onto a wall or other flat surface, then decorate with paper ornaments.