Tangrams for Kids

Tangrams are ancient Chinese puzzles that are still used today by both adults and children. A tangram begins with a square. This square is cut into seven standard pieces. Each piece is called a tan. When creating pictures with tangrams all seven pieces must be used to complete each picture.   When tangrams are used during storytelling, the storyteller arranges the tans to show the shape of the characters in the story. Each new arrangement helps to tell the story elements as the story develops.   Tangrams are also excellent tools to teach spatial relationships, geometry, and fractions. Tangrams puzzles are fun to solve and to create!     
The tangram as an invention is not recorded in history. The earliest known Chinese book is dated 1813 but the puzzle was already very old by then. At that time it was considered a game for women and children.
Tangrams became very popular during the 19th century in Europe and America. This happened as trade with China opened up and sailors brought home new amusements they discovered during their travels. It is said that Tangram translated from Old English is “puzzle” or “trinket.
The “Chinese Puzzle” over the years has created many books and picture card sets.
Some examples of Chinese tangram sets still exist today with pieces carved from and/or inlaid with ivory, jade and other fine materials from the early 1800’s.

What you need:
• Foam Sheet ( 2 different colors)
• Scissors
• All Purpose Glue
• Printable Pattern

What you do:
• Trace foam tangram from pattern provided. Cut out.
• Glue down shapes to another piece of foam in pattern of an animal of your choice.
• Follow pattern provided.