Badge on a Blog: Numbers and Shapes, Activity #1

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you’ve had a chance to spend times with the ones you love.

Originally, I was planning to make posts during the holiday break so my girls could work on the Numbers and Shapes try-it. I figured it would be a welcome distraction. And then I came down with bronchitis and have spent a nice chunk of my vacation time on the couch. However, I am now on the mend and my creative juices have returned, so we’ll turn this into a January project.

Activity #1 for the Numbers and Shapes try-it is to play around with a tangram puzzle.

As it turns out, the tangram is a very old puzzle game from China, and sets were typically made of crafted wood or tile. The object of the puzzle is to use the seven shapes to create other figures. There are several places on the internet where you can find the figures, including:

Tangrams Puzzles

Tangrams at Logicville

To make things a little more fun and paper-crafty, I made a tangram template freebie for you. If you are knowledgeable in the ways of hybrid paper crafting and digital scrapbooking, I have a psd file of the template within the download. You can clip any digital paper you like to the shapes and print them out.

(Click on the preview to download template from 4Shared)

However, if you are unfamiliar with using digital templates and papers, I’ve also provided another couple of options. One, are pdf and jpg files for the cutting lines of the puzzle. Either of those files can be printed to regular paper (printed or solid) and you can just cut out the shapes. Print the lines to plain white paper, and you can even color the shapes in with crayons or markers.

The other option is that I’ve included a jpeg printable of the puzzle (or you can save this file directly)- you can bring it into a photo-editing or word-processing program and print it out on regular letter-sized paper. I used my retired “I <heart> Daisies” paper pack to fill in the pieces. I added a couple of extra paper strips to minimize wasted space- they can be used to make Mobius Strips that I’ll talk about in a later activity post for this try-it.

I’ll admit that I underestimated my tangram skills- these things can be tough! I’ll blame my difficulty on being dosed up on cough syrup…

So, my Brownie Girls, get a hold of one of these tangram puzzles and play for a bit. Try to solve a couple of the figures on the sites that I listed above, or just play around with the shapes and see what other kinds of figures that you can make with them, whether you use all seven pieces or not. Here are a few of the shapes I made with our set, made with lovely papers from The Comfort and Joy Collection by Sugarplum Paperie:

   Using all seven pieces

And then just playing around:

If you are part of my troop and will be working on completing this try-it from home, here’s what you need to do:

1) Play with the tangram puzzle in one form or another

2) Have mom or dad take a couple of photos of you doing the activity, and one or two of your creations

3) Post your photos to our troop’s Shutterfly page- I’ll be creating an album to hold the photos

4) Have fun! (Actually, this step is for everyone!)

Enjoy the freebie! I’m looking forward to posting another activity soon!

Happy Holidays!