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These are the outlines of the shapes I used to create the different blank tangrams. I printed several pages of each shape and kept them with me in a folder. Whenever I landed in a waiting room or had an idle moment I'd practice making different tan shapes.
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 to create pieces for the designs. I learned glass is very sharp but the rewards of a beautiful mosaic design might just be worth the accidental nick.
Overview Tangram puzzles
This section contains a brief introduction into Tangrams, those wonderful Chinese puzzles, along with a few possible solutions which can provide seemingly endless possibilities in creativity and design.
These standard and non-traditional geometric triangle-shaped tangrams use the properties of geometric shapes to determine the particular dissection of each "tan" piece while attempting to stick with the traditional 7 "tan" dissection rule. Design your own dissection of each "tan" piece within the traditional 7 "tan" dissection rule.
Tangram felt-board games: Make several kid sized felt-boards with 12" x 12" squares of cardboard covered with dark-colored felt fabric. Hint, old record album (LP) covers are about the right size and work great for making play surfaces which children can use to build their own puzzle solutions. Cover the square cardboard with a sheet of felt to help the pieces stay in place. Trace the tangram designs onto brightly colored felt or foam sheets, cut the tans out of the tangram, and make fun traveling games for children.
Provide pencils and pads of plain paper so children can keep a diary and re-draw and record the different shapes. I have purposely not included solutions for most of the tangrams to encourage creativity.