We have selected My First Tangrams to show how families can have fun while learning geometry. Your entire family will delight in using this ancient Chinese logic game on a 21st century device.
What is a tangram? A Tangram begins with a square which is then cut into seven standard pieces. Each is called a tan. In creating a picture, all seven tans must touch but not overlap.
The first reference to tangrams are from ancient China when tangrams were used in storytelling. The storyteller placed the tans in the shape of the characters. As the story unfolded and new characters or story elements were introduced, the puzzle pieces were rearranged.
This app is an adaptation. Rules have been simplified to allow every child to solve all 36 increasingly challenging Tangrams. Each picture comes to life as the shapes are placed on top, similar to a puzzle.
In the first game you drag and place colored shapes from the bottom of the screen to identical non-colored shapes to make a complete picture. The next challenge is to create the picture without the shape hints. Looking at a small completed Tangram, build the picture by dragging and placing each colored shape onto a blank space.
Enjoy the “creation mode” where children have fun creating and sharing their own pictures. Tangrams are a great way for young children to learn about shapes, colors and build spatial reasoning skills.
Activity: Make Your Own Tangram Story
Make a set of your own tangrams and start storytelling. A great activity for cold winter days when you can’t be outside building snow castles.
What You’ll Need:
• Three copies of this home set of tangrams
• Scissors, crayons or markers
• Lots of imagination!
After playing with My first Tangrams, encourage the storyteller in your family to create their own picture and story. Have the tangram pattern printed and ready for cutting and coloring. Cut out each shape and let your child start coloring. Try to use a new color for each of the seven tans. Spread out all seven tans and start storytelling.
Young children might start by creating pictures to retell familiar stories. They need much more support streaming a story together but do enjoy playfully creating silly pictures with their family. Have them build a tangram, glue it onto paper and write out their story with the help from the whole family.
Older children will be much more independent in their storytelling. New story ideas can be inspired by other tangram stories found in books.