Monday, April 5, 2010


There were outcries of frustration and the odd triumphant bellow emminating from our house this weekend as we faced the geometry giants that were hiding in our new Tangram game! Now, I LOVED high school...except for those geometry classes that had me break out in a cold sweat. Oh, had I but discovered tangrams when I was younger, it could have saved me hours of geometric grief!

Tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle consisting of 7 shapes cut from a single square.

One must then organise these shapes to form pictures, the catch being that all seven shapes must be used for each picture, and no overlapping of shapes are allowed.

Working with tangrams develops a myriad of skills, including logic, visual discrmination and two-dimensional skills. For some very good ideas of how to play tangram games with your pre-school to grade eight child, click here.

Tangram is one of the games I have on special this month (If you are not yet receiving my monthly newsletter with special offers and news about new products and workshops, send me an e-mail.) So on Friday evening I thought I'd present it to the rest of the family in the hope that the children didn't inherit my geometry skills! (It's a wee bit soon to tell with ArrowBoy -he's still content just chewing the pieces) The dad struggled about just as much as I did initially, but then the lights came on and together we triumphed over quite a few of the puzzles. The star of the evening was Sweetpea.

Although she's obvioulsy way too young to be building the pictures yet, she immediately fitted together a square and a small triangle and proudly showed me the house she'd built. A little while later she announced: "Square" and showed me how she had used two of the large triangles to build a square. She then moved another square over and said; "big square, little square!" I was mightily impressed and think I'll leave the Tangram set out to encourage further exposure to shapes!

This set consits of two sets of tangram pieces and 80 puzzle cards with their solutions on the back. Game rules are included. By the way, one way to expose younger children to the wonders of tangram is to let them build the solutions first. At R55 (price for April 2010) this is a great birthday gift for chidren 6+ and any adult who loves brain teasers!

I found a lovely little story book about Tangrams, called Grandfather Tang's Story - A tale told in Tangrams - check it out by clicking here.


  1. We must have original blog name was Joyful mommy and Joyful Child and we did the Tangram play with the same book awhile back! As they say, "Great minds think alike!"

  2. Always great to hear from someone else who find JOY in being a mom and teaching our little ones! I love the tangram game - it is definitely clearing some cobwebs off my brain, while my daughter is enjoying fitting the shapes together in fun ways. Thanks for stopping by!


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