Last updated: 16/10/2022

How we pick our products

12Products analysed

15Hours spent

3Evaluated articles

50User reviews

Do you know tangram? An ancient puzzle game, tangram has become an educational toy that helps children, adults and the elderly to develop creativity, logical thinking and learning.

But do you know which types of tangram are currently on sale? Well, welcome to ReviewBox Brasil! Below, we will show you the best games available on the market and the aspects that you should take into account to buy the ideal one.




Summary

  • Tangram is a puzzle formed from a square that, when broken down, generates seven geometric figures.
  • With these figures it is possible to make more than a thousand different shapes and images. For this reason, tangram is a great ally for developing reasoning and creativity.
  • But to buy the best game it is worth noting the recommended age range, the number of pieces and the accessories that may be included.

The best Tangram: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Choosing the best tangram is easier than it seems. But for that you need to understand some peculiarities of this game and how it is marketed today.

To help you at this stage, we have created this Buying Guide. From here, you will find out what it is for, how to use, how much it costs and where to buy the best tangram puzzle.

Duas crianças brincando com tangram.

The tangram is a toy that entertains and teaches at the same time. (Source: Nadezhda Prokudina/ 123rf.com)

What is tangram?

Tangram is a Chinese geometric puzzle. Made up of seven differently shaped pieces that together form a square, tangram has been used for centuries as a form of fun and learning.

And, it is worth saying, it is used by children and adults alike. Nowadays, as we will see later in this article, there are many varieties of tangram. But the original is composed of:

  • Five triangles: two large, two small and one medium-sized;
  • Asquare;
  • A parallelogram.

By putting all these pieces together, which fit together but do not overlap, it is possible to create, in addition to the original square, infinite shapes and figures.

According to the Tangram Encyclopaedia, a book with the rules and challenges of this game, it is possible to make over 5,000 figures with its pieces.

So much so that, today, besides being possible to buy the puzzle, there are those who venture to create their own handmade tangram.

Still, in the shops, you will find an attractive variety of this toy. There are options with various shapes, sizes, colours and quantities of pieces.

The great advantage, anyway, is that tangram, more than a simple toy, is also a teaching and learning tool.

How did tangram come about?

It is not known for sure what the real origin of tangram. But the story says that the puzzle would have emerged around 1780, in China. Because of the success in eastern lands, however, quickly reached Europe and then the United States.

From then on, tangram began to be widely used, especially as a challenge. Such was its success that a Chinese woman wrote the so-called Encyclopaedia of Tangram more than 130 years ago.

It is believed that this encyclopaedia consists of six volumes and contains more than 1,700 problems to be solved with the puzzle.

Tangram com criança ao fundo.

There are many legends surrounding the history of the tangram, but it eventually became popular all over the world. (Source: protowink/ Pixabay.com)

There are several legends about how tangram came about. One of them refers to a precious stone that would have broken into seven pieces and, with them, it was possible to create various shapes.

Another legend says that an emperor dropped a square mirror on the ground and it broke into seven pieces.

Anyway, the fact is that tangram has been played for centuries all over the East and also in the West, and it has even been a source of inspiration for the creation of other kinds of toys and puzzles.

How to use tangram and which figures to create?

To use tangram all you need is creativity and patience, just as with the common puzzles we know.

During the game, all the pieces must be used and it is not allowed to overlap any of them.

By rearranging the figures, it is possible to create both shapes that we already know and others that our creativity dictates.

With tangram, you can make figures of animals such as cats and swans, as well as images of people, houses, ships, among others.

Moreover, tangram can be used in maths and geometry classes, since the puzzle encourages students to develop specific skills in the area of exact sciences.

What is the importance of Tangram in teaching mathematics?

Tangram is used by mathematics teachers around the world as a tool to help teach and learn geometric shapes. This educational game is especially effective in the early years of childhood education.

However, as it also works on the development of creativity and logical thinking, Tangram ends up being beneficial for the study of mathematics and science in general.

Check out below, other skills that tangram can help develop in the classroom:

  • Recognition of geometric figures;
  • Learning about area and perimeter;
  • Motor skills when fitting the pieces together;
  • Development of creativity and reasoning.

Who is the use of tangram recommended for?

In principle, one might think that tangram would only be beneficial for children, but this is not true.

By better understanding how this puzzle works and its applications, it becomes clear that there are numerous advantages of having a tangram at any stage of life. See the benefits for each age group:

  • For children: Tangram is a source of discovery and fun. By playing and learning colours and geometric shapes, and also creating fun figures and images, children also work on their vision, motor and neurological skills;
  • For youngsters: In this age group, tangram will be a tool to facilitate the learning of mathematics and geometry. It is also functional for teaching problem solving, without leaving aside the playful and creative role of the puzzle;
  • For adults: Adults and seniors can also take advantage of tangram. After all, the game works with creativity and reasoning and also serves as a tool for concentration and relaxation.

What are the benefits of tangram?

As we have seen, tangram requires the pieces to be positioned and rotated, making the brain work on the regions responsible for the recognition of geometric shapes.

Therefore, by doing this activity, we explore areas and skills such as problem solving, reasoning and creativity.

Not to mention that, as we have seen, the puzzle acts as a facilitator for learning mathematics. After all, to assemble each figure it is also necessary to have planning and spatial awareness.

Suggested lesson plan with tangram:

  1. Show the students a tan gram and talk about the shapes that make it up: triangle, square and parallelogram;
  2. Divide the students into groups and ask them to create a tangram with paper or cardboard, using scissors, ruler and crayons.
  3. Then ask each one to create figures and images of cats, dogs, people, houses, boats, fish, etc.
  4. Work on the colours of each figure created and propose that the students create stories with the pieces and present them to the rest of the class

Another advantage is that it is possible to find a good variety of games with varied size, shape and number of pieces. Such is their versatility that it is even possible to create your own tangram.

On the other hand, if you prefer to buy this puzzle, either for yourself or as a gift, it is important to consider that most of the games are of dubious quality.

Not infrequently, the tangram pieces are made of fragile material. To summarize, we have created a table with the advantages and disadvantages of tangram. Have a look:

Advantages
  • Develops creativity, logical thinking and spatial awareness
  • Works maths, geometry and problem-solving skills
  • Stimulates neurological and motor development
  • There are several options for sale
Disadvantages
  • Parts may be of fragile material

Purchase Criteria: How to compare tangram types

As we have already mentioned, there are several different models of tangram nowadays. But do you know how to differentiate one option from another?

To make the right choice and buy the best of all, we recommend that you analyse some criteria. They are

Below you will understand how to analyse, in practice, each of these aspects that differentiate one tangram game from another.

Number of pieces

It may seem strange to consider the number of pieces of a tangram since, originally, it has seven pieces. But the fact is that this has changed.

Nowadays, you can find tangram-type puzzle options with up to 60 pieces. Of course, the more pieces, the more creative possibilities are possible.

With or without book

It is very common to find the tangram accompanied by a book with examples of the figures that can be formed.

However, it is also worth taking into account the content of the book. The best options on sale have practical activities, often developed by educators, in addition to the seven pieces of tangram.

Size of the pieces

Another point that you should note is the size of the pieces. Here you will find small, medium and large pieces.

Of course, this choice should take into account the purpose of use and the child’s ability. For example, if the little one is still very young, larger pieces may be easier for them to handle.

For older children, smaller pieces can be a good challenge. Hence the importance of checking the following topic.

Age group

Since tangram can come with many pieces, it is also important to check the indicative age of the toy.

Some models have smaller pieces, which may end up offering risk to younger children.

But, in general, you will find tangram that can be used from the age of three. Some models, more challenging, are suitable for children over 7 years.

(Featured image source: tomertu/ 123rf.com)

Reviews