Paper Games for Kids

Make a Tangram
A tangram can create many different shapes.
A tangram can create many different shapes.

Learn how to Make a Tangram, a seven piece puzzle. A tangram is like a recyclable puzzle, because you can make so many shapes and patterns with it.

How to Make a Tangram

What You'll Need:

  • 8 x 8-inch Sheet of Light Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

The Chinese call this puzzle ch'i ch'iao t'u, which means "ingenious puzzle with seven pieces." Seven geometric shapes make up the puzzle. Rearranged in different ways, these 7 pieces can make as many as 1,600 different designs.

1. Look closely at the pattern in the picture below. Use your ruler and pencil to draw an 8 x 8-inch square on the cardboard.

2. The heavy black lines are the cutting lines. Cut along the cutting lines.

3. If you'd like, you can decorate your tangram -- color each piece a different color, create different patterns on each one, or whatever you like. (NOTE: It is easier to color or decorate your tangram puzzle before you cut it apart.)

3. Try to re-create the design shown here. Then invent new shapes of your own. Trace the outside shape of your new designs, and challenge friends and family members to arrange the tangram pieces to match your designs.

Your tangram starts out as a perfect square.

Think a penny isn't worth much? It can buy you hours of fun when you turn it into a Penny Spinner. Find out how to make this great paper game on the next page.

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