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Tangram Chinese Puzzles

7 tan tangramRules of the Game
Tangram Chinese Puzzles and Patterns

The rules for creating tangram silhouettes and designs are pretty straight forward.

  1. For the official traditional tangram: Color the sections if desired with crayons or markers. Cut the large square into 7 tans (pieces). Create as many recognizable shapes as you can by rearranging and rotating the tand. Remember, tangram shapes must always lay flat (never bent or folded) and the tans may not overlap.
  2. For the non-traditional, creative and unusual tangrams: Color the sections if desired with crayons or markers. Cut the large shape into the designated pieces. Create as many recognizable shapes as you can by rotating the pieces and using all the tans of that specific puzzle.
  3. Use your tangram silhouette shape to tell a story. Reshape the character as necessary to develop the story line, for example, make your character appear to walk, run or fly.
  4. Let your imagination go and have fun!

Definition of a Tangram Chinese Puzzle

The Tangram Chinese puzzle is a dissection puzzle game. The name "Tangram" was coined in 1848 by Thomas Hill, in the pamphlet "Puzzles to Teach Geometry."

The earliest known book about the Chinese puzzle is dated 1813, but it is generally believed the game is much older than the first publication which took place during the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor of China.

Early pieces of Chinese tangram game sets ranged from simple wooden blocks to intricately decorated and carved pieces out of ivory and jade.

The game quickly became popular in Europe and America and remains popular to this day.

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