What are they?
The Tangram is made up of seven flat shapes, called tans, which are put together to form shapes. The object of the puzzle is to form a specific shape (given only an outline or silhouette) using all seven pieces, which may not overlap.
The activity is sometimes called ‘seven pieces of cleverness.’
Originally invented in China, the passion for tangrams was carried over to Europe by trading ships in the early 19th century where it became very popular as a game for all ages.
Over 6500 different tangram problems have been compiled from 19th century tangram books alone, and the current number is ever-growing as the world around us changes.
What to do:
Try making your own set of tangrams – the web-sites below have useful templates. You can make a small set from card or floor lino for your pocket (adult help needed to cut lino), or a larger set from a cardboard box. We made giant ones out of carpet and lino offcuts (an adult activity that one).
Where’s the maths?
Geometry you can handle Flipping shapes to understand