Tangrams are challenging puzzles that help your children with critical thinking skills, along with many other benefits. Check out these free tangram puzzles that you can print and
What is a Tangram?
Tangrams are challenging puzzles that contain 7 flat geometric shapes (polygons) called tans. These tans are placed together to form various shapes.
The 7 geometric shapes that make up a tangram are two small triangles, one medium triangle, two large triangles, a square, and a parallelogram.
The shapes contain and are the catalyst for numerical and geometrical concepts. Usually, tangram shapes come in four colors – red, blue, yellow, and green.
The tangram puzzle is thought to have originated in 18th century China. It is said to have a profound effect on the mind, especially for our little learners.
What skills do tangrams teach?
There is a purpose to tangrams. The skills that tangrams teach are vast, and this is why children of all ages can benefit from tangram puzzles. Here are just a few purposes and benefits that can come from tangrams:
- problem-solving skills
- logical thinking skills
- perceptual reasoning
- fne motor skills
- visual-spatial skills and awareness
- mathematical concepts (i.e. math skills like geometry, symmetry, area, perimeter, and more)
- spatial reasoning
- shape recognition
- integrate art into the homeschool classroom (artistic expression)
- Calms the mind
Rules of a Tangram Puzzle
The rules of a tangram puzzle are easy to follow. The instructions are to just disassemble and then reassemble the tangram pieces together to create new tangram shapes.
Below are some rules of tangram Chinese puzzles to follow:
- All the pieces of the Chinese puzzle must connect.
- No pieces can overlap.
- The tangram pieces must be flat.
- The tans can be flipped or rotated.
- All seven pieces/tans must be used.
An image is usually outlined (in a template or printable), and the player must recreate the image with the seven pieces.
Geometrical Shapes in Tangrams
There are various shapes that a tangram can make. They vary between different levels from easy to expert. Here are a few geometric shapes made by tangram pieces:
When tangram pieces are put together, they solve puzzles that make up specific geometrical shapes. Tangram shapes worksheets are perfect for fine motor skills, creative problem-solving, shape recognition, and hours of fun. Using printable puzzles for kids is a great way to mix it up and add some fun to their learning.
Printable Tangram Puzzles
The challenge in tangram puzzle games is having a printable or template with a tangram shape outlined. The goal is to recreate that shape with tangram pieces. Explore the tangram printables below as a great way to teach with printable math manipulatives.
Printable Tangrams Animal Puzzles
If your children love learning about animals, be sure to download some free coloring pages of animals.
Tangrams Printable Animal Puzzles – Check out these new tangram puzzles for little learners and older kids. These free tangram pieces puzzles come in full color or color your own version.
Ocean Animal Pattern Activity Printable – Help teach your children about ocean anatomy with these sea creatures’ pattern block templates. Play with fun shapes as your kids learn about marine life.
Farm Animal Pattern Cards – Is your family learning about farm anatomy this homeschool year? The tangram animal cards include printable cards for chicken, duck, cat, sheep, cow, horse, and more.
If you are working on teaching the alphabet, check out these printable alphabet letters to color.
Printable Lowercase Alphabet Pattern Mats – If you are looking to add to your activities learning the alphabet, don’t miss this. These free printable lowercase alphabet pattern block mats go alongside your alphabet lessons.
Alphabet Pattern Printables – If you have wooden pattern blocks, then you can use these alphabet pattern puzzles with the wooden tangram puzzles. Use this wooden toy as a tool to practice the alphabet with your children.
Letters Pattern Letters Printables – Tangrams benefit children, but adding the alphabet to the learning is a bonus. This is part of 101 Ways to Teach the Alphabet.
Printable Tangram Patterns
Free Tangram Pattern Cards – Download and print these free tangram pictures on card stock or laminate them to use over and over.
Tangram Puzzle Card Printables – Easily cut out these printable Chinese puzzle tangram activities. Use it as a number of ways to create different objects and individual shapes and discover a variety of angles.
Printable Tangram Objects Activities for Kids – Keep your children’s minds active, even in downtime. These printable tangram objects contain 8 different puzzles, and the blog post includes fun facts and rules about tangrams.
Printable Tangrams to Cut
PDF and SVG Tangram Shapes – Grab this free cuttable and printable tangrams PDF to create material colorful shapes. Your children can even create their own tangrams.
Tangram Sets to Cut and Color – Find out the rules of tangrams and grab this tangram set to color as bright as possible. These cut and paste worksheets can also be arranged and played over and over instead of pasted in place.
Easy DIY Tangram Template Printable – Fine these printable tangrams, DIY tangram instructions, and printable silhouette puzzles for your little learners to solve.
Printable Tangram People Worksheets – Boost your child’s visual-spatial skills with these printable tangram people cards as a fun way to have a positive outlook on geometry.
Tangram Worksheet and Pattern Printable – Check out these various tangram pattern PDFs and tangram worksheets to go alongside your lessons. The facts tangram sill help you learn about the ancient art of the tangram puzzle.
Popular Dissection Puzzles Worksheet – Each pattern puzzle sheet can be printed on cardstock, construction paper, or just white paper. The tangram pattern worksheets include a cat, a bat, a boat, a camel, a duck, a candle, and more.
Tangram Coloring Sheets
Tangram Mandala Puzzles to Color – These printable tangrams and challenge cards are perfect for matching tangram pieces and for use as coloring pages to make colorful shapes.
Printable Coloring Tangram Sheets – Use these tangram sets for block play. The tangram sets can be printed on white paper with unique picture designs with 3 levels of difficulty.
Color a Tangram Template – Build a logic game as a fun way to learn about geometric shapes. Children can make their very own tangrams to color different figures.
FAQ about Tangrams
What do you and your family know about tangrams? Here are some common FAQs families have about tangrams.
What are the 7 shapes in a tangram?
- Two small triangles
- One medium triangle
- Two large triangles
- A square
- A parallelogram
What is the main idea of tangrams?
The main idea of tangrams is to teach children about spatial relationships in math.
What skills do tangrams teach?
Besides spatial relationships, tangrams teach geometric terms and help children develop a stronger problem-solving ability, particularly in mathematics.
What age group is tangram for?
The ideal age group for a tangram is 5 -16 years.
Tangrams can be easy and can be complex. That is why the age range is 5 to 16.
At all these ages, tangrams benefit the mind and help create a calm atmosphere during the homeschool day.
This reason alone is worth using them in your homeschool. Use these free printable tangram puzzle challenges for kids to help.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!