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How to Make Shapes with Tangrams

make shapes with tangrams

Do you know what a tangram is?  You probably do, but you don't realize it.  Tangrams are those square wooden puzzles that are cut into seven smaller shapes.  You use those shapes to make images.  There is a legend about the first tangram that might be interesting to read to your Cub Scouts.

One of the requirements for the Tiger elective adventure, Stories in Shapes, asks the boys to use tangrams to create shapes.  Allowing the Tigers to use their imagination in designing these images will spark their creativity.

This might be a bit difficult for some boys, especially using the black and white image that's in the Tiger Leader Guide.  Instead, use the colorful printables available free from the Tangram Channel.   You can download a set of tangram pieces here.

After your Tiger Cub Scouts have cut out their tangrams, give them an opportunity to come up with their own images.  After a couple of minutes, show them some of the designs from the Tangram Channel.  They have animals, boats, people, objects and more that are grouped by difficulty level.  My favorite is the rocket!

tangram rocket
A big thank you to the folks at the Tangram Channel for allowing me to use this image.

The tangram printables available show step by step how to assemble the images.  This will be really helpful for those boys who have trouble “seeing” how the pieces fit together to make something new.

If your son really likes making images from shapes, he'll love this wooden tangram puzzle available through my affiliate link. This tangram book has 330 puzzles!  That'll keep him busy for a while.  🙂

Let me know which of the tangrams your Tiger Cub Scouts like best!

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. Sign up below for other useful Cub Scout resources.


Sunday 24th of May 2020

This is great and I love your blog but is there anyway to change all the "he"s and "boys" to "they" and "scouts"?