Tangrams are “open-ended” materials, meaning they can be nearly anything a kid can imagine, just by re-arranging 7 puzzle pieces. Oh, how I love them.
If you are new to tangrams, or to thinking about them Jewishly, see my intro Page for whys and hows, and a link to printable templates. I also give tips about how to make the actual pieces irresistible.
In the intro I say how easy it is to “convert” traditional tangram patterns to Judaism by simply changing a name: pot to dreidel, fish to Dag Gadol, candles to nerot for Shabbat. We convert a silhouette with our intention.
But, we can also create our own patterns. Fiddle with the 7 shapes until something looks right.
I did that for shofar work. Here’s a printable for six Shofar patterns for Rosh Hashanah. (It’s been awhile, so I can’t remember which of these I created and which I might have renamed from traditional tangrams.)
Note these are the solutions. I made this sheet for beginners, because some kids (and grownups) get frustrated with just the silhouettes. Working from the solution page is still challenging!
Jewish tangrams work best when kids are familiar with the really real object they are trying to re-create with tangrams. For example, a sheet of shofar tangram puzzles won’t make sense if a kid hasn’t seen a shofar since last year (or ever). Better if the shofar is in the room, or at least in a book or website. There’s gotta be context, there’s gotta be real stuff so the abstract stuff means something.
Printable Yom Kippur tangrams are up next, and I do have puzzles and solutions for those.
Let me know if and how you use tangrams!
* Printable PDF for Jewish Tangrams: Rosh Hashanah Shofars
* Printable PDFs for Jewish Tangrams: Yom Kippur (Jonah and the Whale)
* my Tangram Dreidel Toast post (just for fun, and to show you can make tangrams out of just about anything flat and cuttable)