Have you ever wondered what is a tangram puzzle and how to solve it? This article shows you how to play tangram puzzles, the rules and solutions to solve the wooden tangram puzzle. Let's explore new fun ways to work with shapes!
What is a Tangram Puzzle?
The tangram puzzle originated in China and was then brought over to Europe and America via trade ships in the early 19th century. It was immensely popular during this time, and rose back to popularity during World War I. The tangram puzzle challenges you to arrange seven separate pieces, called tans, into one shape. A set of tans consists of two small triangles, one medium triangle, one square, one parallelogram, and two large triangles. The shapes made from these pieces can be geometrical, such as a square or triangle, or something more representational such as animals, objects, or people. There are seemingly infinite different shapes that can be made from these pieces as well as multiple different ways to configure those shapes. Tangram sets are inexpensive to purchase, and are also available to be printed out or to be used virtually.
While the benefits of tangram puzzles can be seen in people of any age, they are most beneficial to young children. They are a great hands-on activity that can be incorporated into the classroom or used at home. Below are the skills that tangram puzzles can help to develop:
- Problem-solving and logistical thinking:
- Geometrical concepts
- Spatial relationships
- Positive relationships with math
The Mathematics Involved in Tangrams
As stated above, tangram puzzles help children learn problem-solving skills and geometrical concepts. It is for this reason that they are often utilized in math classrooms. The tans can be used to teach the relationships between different basic shapes. For example, two triangles can be combined to make a square or a parallelogram, a parallelogram and two triangles can make a rectangle, and so on. Tangram puzzles can also be used as an introduction to the concept of area. The students can use each tan as a unit of measurement and count how many tans it takes to fill different figures. Symmetry, congruence, similarity, and even fractions can be taught through different exercises using the tangram pieces. Students not only learn mathematical concepts through the completion of theses puzzles and accompanying exercises, but they also passively develop the problem-solving skills needed to effortlessly figure out the puzzles.
Tangram Rules and How to Play Tangram
Tangram is very simple to play. First, you need access to the tans themselves. You can purchase a wooden tangram puzzle, print out the pieces from the internet, or find a tangram app or website. Next, arrange the tans to match the provided silhouettes or outlines. The tangram rules are just as simple.
- The pieces must all be connected
- They must be flat
- No pieces may overlap
- The tans may also be rotated and/or flipped to form the shape.
- All seven tans must be used
- Each completed puzzle must contain all seven tans.
How to Solve Tangrams and Tangram Puzzle Answers
Tangrams puzzles and solutions can be found all over the internet, but here I will explain some patterns that will help you in solving them. Firstly, remember that the combination of two triangles makes a square or a diamond. Two triangles can also be put back to back to create one larger triangle. Next, a way to make a second parallelogram piece available to you is to combine the two small triangles. A triangle on top of a square, or on top of two combined triangles, makes a type of barn shape. The points of two triangles can be connected to make a sort of bow shape. All in all, when working through these puzzles it is important to remember how to create basic shapes out of triangles. When you start thinking of the shapes more in terms of triangles, the puzzles should start getting easier and easier to solve.
Tangram puzzles serve as a solid educational tool for children as well as an endless source of entertainment for people of all ages. They are easily accessible and an inexpensive way to have fun and strengthen your brain. This classic game will surely stick around as one of the most popular puzzles in the generations to come.