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Tangram Puzzles: 20 Benefits / Advantages (Creativity, Critical Thinking,…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

man's hand pointing at arrow made from square tangram puzzle

A Tangram is a geometric puzzle that uses seven shapes derived from a large square to create various complex forms. The puzzle consists of two small triangles, one bigger triangle, a parallelogram, a square, and two large triangles. Although the puzzle is available worldwide, its origins are thought to be from China

The seven shapes that form a Tangram are called Tans, and through them, you can create countless combinations from cups to rabbits; the possibilities are endless. The puzzle has since become popular with both kids and adults.

These are 20 benefits and advantages of Tangram Puzzles:

1. It’s a Game For Most Ages

Tangrams are mostly referred to as activities that kids do, but adults, especially the elderly, can also benefit from undertaking these activities. 

2. Tangrams Can Prime Your Kids’ Brains For Math

Advanced Math can be complicated. However, starting with simple maths problems like associating shapes and rearranging them, creating fractions of the puzzle through creating turns, and enhancing their critical and problem-solving skills is a simple yet excellent way to prime your kids for more advanced math problems. 

3. They Enhance Discipline

There are rules to follow when playing with a Tangram. These include:

  • You must use all the seven tans to solve a puzzle
  • All the tans must touch 
  • All tans must be flat on the surface
  • The tans shouldn’t overlap
  • You can rotate or flip the tans to fit in the puzzle

These are the guiding structures that the Tangram solvers must use to solve the puzzle, any deviation from these rules them out. This forces puzzle-solvers to be disciplined. When practiced a few times, the discipline culture becomes inane and can be translated to other areas of life. 

4. Memory Enhancement Tool 

Tan combinations can create countless shapes that vary in complexity. However, some of these shapes are similar except for a few modifications. Remembering how you solved a similar puzzle can make it easier to solve its variations. You can also use this in other areas of life, like associating one thing to something similar, even if it’s been made more complex. 

5. Visual-spatial Skills

Simply put, visual-spatial skills refer to the ability to understand how visual images relate in different scenarios. For example, solving a Tangram Puzzle will include twisting the tans, rotating them, and manipulating them to fit into your outline. 

Although tangrams begin with shapes that are easy to solve and climb up to more complex ones, the more complex the Tangram shapes become, the more you enhance your visual-spatial skills. 

6. Children Can Develop Greater Range of Spatial Vocabulary

Spatial vocabulary is related to being able to identify shapes like parallelograms, rhombus, etc. As children solve these puzzles, they can create several forms, which can be used as a learning activity. As they play, they will identify these shapes and their names; the more outlines they discover, the more their spatial vocabulary increases.

7. Enables Children to Make Predictions 

This translates to their ability to connect “cause” and “effect.” So, for example, when solving a puzzle, they’d realize that rotating the Tans would create a different shape. 

Tangram colored geometric puzzle pieces

8. Increases Communication Skills In Children

We already know that solving these puzzles develops their spatial vocabulary. Some teachers have introduced these puzzles into their classwork. The most important part of this lesson is to ask the children to explain their process as they go. Putting their thought process into words will go a long way in enhancing their communication skills. 

9. Enhances Critical Thinking in Kids

Tangram puzzles look deceptively easy to maneuver, but as you go up the complexity levels, things can get a little tricky, and that’s where critical thinking comes in. 

Solving complex issues increases our ability to think deeper and see more than the eye can see. Rotating the seven tans to fit something complex as a rabbit’s outline is one of those complex problems. You will scratch your head, but you will eventually solve the puzzle. 

10. Imagination and Creativity

There is a myriad of image outline possibilities that can emanate from pieces of one large square. This is creativity at its finest. Not only that, but you can create newer outlines in the comfort of your home. Tangrams are that versatile! Solving some of these requires a world of imagination—all the more reason to go wild and pick yourself some puzzles. 

11. They are Readily Available

The world is a global village now, and you can order these puzzles from several sites and have them delivered to you anywhere on the globe. For the creative, numerous sites offer tutorials on making these tans and many shape outlines you can print out to have your DIY Tangram puzzle. Thus, anyone can gain access to the puzzles. 

12. Attention and Concentrate on one Task

Tangrams require attention and concentration to solve. Studies have shown that the puzzles are helpful for both kids and adults with disorders that hamper one’s ability to concentrate on a task, such as dementia, autism, ADHD, etc. The ability to do something with varied outcomes keeps people interested and alert for longer. 

13. Develops Patience

Solving Tangram puzzles, especially the tougher ones to figure out, requires patience. Some of these puzzles will take a long time to figure out, depending on your concentration levels and problem-solving skills. 

Games that look easy to solve but become the exact opposite are the most frustrating. This puzzle will humble you a time or two, more reason to get one and enjoy the experience. 

14. Self-discovery

This is especially applicable to children who play this game. They develop this ability to explore something and discover new things in the long run. This game can open them to accepting new opportunities as they come without fear. 

15. Reduces Social Anxiety

These puzzles are usually best solved in a group setting, family gatherings, school, or other institutions. It’s a good place for people that prefer hiding inside themselves to flourish, especially kids. 

Having kids explaining their thought processes as they solve the puzzle or just being around other people makes them less anxious about social situations. This will help them with the ability to relate to others. 

16. Adds Fun in Learning

Learning can be intense and tedious, especially the more challenging subjects such as Math and Sciences.

The puzzles are primarily used in Math classes to prime kids for their arithmetic classes. However, many topics can be incorporated in solving these problems; there are functions, geometry, and learning shapes, among other topics that could use something fun and relatable to make learning enjoyable. 

17. Caters To Different Types of Learning

Tangrams focus on both visual and hands-on learning, making it a versatile learning experience that can support children to become all-round. For example, if a child is more visually oriented, they can practice their motor skills and vice versa. 

18. You can use Tangrams as a Bonding Tool.

kids playing with puzzle doing tangram, education concept

Other than being excellent study tools, Tangram puzzles are also games which means you can use them in family day competitions and as a bonding tool with kids, especially those with social anxiety disorders.

It’s an excellent way of being there while letting them concentrate on solving the puzzles. Help them escape their screens for a day to focus on gaming. You can also bond with the elderly using this technique. 

19. Able To Work In a Team

Teamwork is a general lesson one can learn at any stage of life. It’s crucial for teachers who use these puzzles as a learning tool to ask children to solve these independently and join them into teams with several Tangram outlines to solve. This will teach them how to ask for help, delegate issues, and work on tasks with others. 

20. Introducing Healthy Competition in Kids

Tangram Puzzles are exciting games. However, you can make them competitive by introducing a time limit to solving a particular puzzle outline as kids enjoy themselves. This way, you can motivate them to be the best versions of themselves. 

In Short

Who knew that something as basic as a puzzle could have so many advantages? Tangram puzzles are versatile in that you can use them for amusement, art, and educational purposes. This is a sign to get you and your children one.

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.