Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tangrams or qī qiǎo bǎn - the Chinese puzzle for kids with challenges and solutions

Tangram is a dissection puzzle made up of 7 shapes (or Tans), which have to be placed together to make a particular shape. The challenge is to use all 7 pieces, not overlapping any of them, and to make a particular challenge shape in the shortest time. It is a fun thinking game for kids to learn geometry and learn to understand spatial orientation.

All the letters in TANGRAMS have been made using tangrams

It is very simple to make on your own, and provides hours of fun.
In case you want to do tangrams on your computer, there are websites with tangram software.

A few websites with more tangram challenges and solutions
A few facts about tangrams
13 convex tangrams

  • Fu Traing Wang and Chuan-Chin Hsiung proved in 1942 that there are only thirteen convex tangram configurations (configurations with no recesses in the outline)
  • Over 6500 tangram puzzles were created from 19th century texts alone and more are being made.
  • There are some Tangram paradoxes - 2 problems which look almost the same, but one appears to have an extra piece. This is done using different combinations to get slightly larger or smaller shapes.
Paradox tangrams

There are also tangram Apps for smartphones (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, etc)

Tangram alphabets

Tangram shapes - challenges

Some Tangram solutions

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