## Really Big Tangrams

We scaled up these tans to scale up the fun of  solving tangrams!

Get ready to have fun with our Really Big Tangrams! You’ll have to make a lot of room on the floor for this huge version of the classic Chinese dissection puzzle. Learn to use mathematical principles by arranging the 7 pieces, called tans, to make geometric shapes and figures. It won’t take long to realize the puzzles are not as simple as they seem. Printed on durable, weather resistant material, Really Big Tangrams are perfect for group activities in the classroom OR on the playground. Let everyone work together to exercise creative strategies for practical problems. The included guide will get you started with three different levels of difficulty. Use our Really Big Tangrams as a teaching tool for 2D spatial relationships, working together as a team, and for active play!

What is a dissection puzzle? Dissection puzzles are puzzles that are made with tiles of varying sizes. The hallmark of dissection puzzles is that the pieces can be assembled to create two or more distinct geometric shapes. Dissection puzzles are as old as Plato, with the earliest puzzles being described in Ancient Greek texts. Tangrams came to the west in the 19th century (the 1800s) when American sea captain M. Donaldson brought a set back with him on his ship, the Trader, in 1815. These puzzles were less popular in the latter half of the 19th century, but saw a resurgence during the first world war.

Tangrams can form all different kinds of puzzles! Some common themes are:

• Animals
• Plants
• Buildings
• Geometric Shapes

You can find some puzzle ideas in the guide included with these tans, but you can also visit your local bookstore for puzzle books. The internet is also a great resource!

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## Kid Puzzle Pieces

Kid Puzzle Pieces bring your whole class together! Every student can decorate their own card character to reflect themselves or they can decorate their friends. Turn the activity into an All About Me project while making the end result all about the classroom!

The Kid Pieces are a great medium for coloring with markers, crayons, pencil crayons or paint. You can use Decorative Paper (such as this) to cut out clothes for the characters. Color in the face, arms and legs, then place the Puzzle Kid facedown onto the sheet of decorative paper. Trace around the outer edge of the Puzzle Kid, then cut out the resulting shape. Paste the decorative paper clothes onto the card character.

The best part about the Puzzle Kids is that their arms and legs are designed to fit into each other like a connected chain. You can arrange the characters in this way when you are decorating a theme wall for multiculturalism, “We Day,” “All About Me” and more!

Check out the full process below!

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## Craft Spotlight: Nature Paper

Take a good look at the images in our R15290 Nature Paper, and think of how you can combine them to make colorful, crazy critters! The Nature Paper elements can also be hung from mobiles or pasted onto picture frames or posters as decorations.

The R15290 Nature Paper features 32 sheets of brilliant graphics that are die-cut for easy removal. Simply pop out the images from the backings and use! The great part about these images is that they’re printed on both sides so you don’t have to paste two pieces together.

To view more about Nature Paper, click on this link! You can view a video, read the detailed PDF guide or check out some nifty images. The art in the guide can be used to make your own selection of animal friends. Find the first image in your Nature Paper set, and match it in the same position as shown in the guide. Continue to find the remaining images in the set and glue together once the image is complete.

Get a little creative with your own designs! The video below shows you how to make a beautiful dancing ballerina from the elements in the kit. What a great exercise for young students! Learn how to combine these elements together, just like puzzle pieces, to create something new!

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