Thursday, April 3, 2014

Easter Egg Tangram Fun

We had so much fun with out Valentine Tangrams set that I knew we would be making the Easter Egg set this year too.
For valentines day we made a  heart tangrams for the light table. The same place I got the idea for the heart pattern also has this egg pattern sheet.

I planned on just enlarging the pattern to make a set myself for the light table as I did for Valentines but the girls found it very hard to visualize the other shapes because the print out was so small when we did that for Valentine's Day.

So I was super excited when I found this set on teachers pay teachers for only $2.50.

***I received a copy for free in exchange for my honest review of this product***

Source and where to buy it

This download has 21 pages. It is an easy and fun activity to do with you kids and the bonus of this download is if you are a teacher, or have multiple children it comes with multiple pattern sizes. There are 22 different shapes (including a few birds, bunnies, shell, cat, dinosaur, flower and more) included that your children can make with just this simple egg shape. This download also comes with both a colour set and a black set which makes the activity easier or harder depending on the ages of your children.

First I made a set to use on the table by printing off the black egg shape (it has white lines so you know where to cut the pieces). I cut them out but the photocopy paper was too flimsy to use as is. I considered laminating them but because my printer is running out of ink they were not worth the laminating sheet. Instead I glued the pieces to an empty box and cut them out again.
 This gave the pieces more than enough firmness to use easily. I then printed off a couple of the black shadow like patterns. Pick a pattern piece or allow your child to pick a pattern picture and try to recreate it.

The egg was fairly easy to do but it did take a bit of thought even for me.
I chose a bunny pattern next and gave it a try.
I kept trying and trying different ways and I have to admit I gave up and cheated. I pulled out the colour card to match the pieces as I was beginning to think it was a mistake and could't be done!
In the end it could be done but one of the pieces needed to be flipped over (obviously my problem solving is a little rusty and I need more practice with these).

FYI: I think next time I will print the pieces out on construction paper (yes you can print on construction paper you just need to cut it first to 8 1/2 X 11 size). That way both side will be the same colour and laminating construction paper is easy too.

I knew these would be too hard to do for my 6 and 7 year old girls so I didn't even offer it to them to try.

Aayla did use the coloured paper set as is to fill in the egg shape while I started to make the pieces for the light table.
To make the light table set you need the following:
-Transparent index dividers (I got mine at the dollar store)
-Tangram Egg Pattern (can be purchased HERE)

First lay a transparent index card over your egg pattern. NOTE The smallest triangle on the bottom is supposed to be one single triangle and I cut it into two and had to redo them. The puzzle should have 9 pieces in total.

Next cut carefully along each line. DO NOT cut it as shown in this picture by cutting the egg in half. This is how I ended up with 10 pieces instead of 9. That small triangle just above my scissors should be double in size. I cut all my transparencies though and couldn't retake the picture sorry.

I cut out 7 different colours of eggs so we could make both solid coloured pictures and also ones that colour corresponded to the pattern picture. See the below shows the proper pattern piece without a line through that small triangle.

These pieces can be used on the table as is but we headed straight to the light table with them. Aayla started out with all one colour for the pieces and with a pattern sheet to add them to. She finished it with no trouble at all.

Next I gave her a bunch of the coloured pattern pictures and she chose a bunny pattern first. She had a hard time using all one colour so I picked out corresponding colour pieces for her to match more easily. We had to use orange instead of grey. As you can see in the picture my printer is running out of ink so I didn't laminate the pattern cards. In the future I will make another set of cards and laminate them for durability.
The pieces can be a bit slippery at times and move all over easily but she figured it out with the colour coded shapes in time.

Next she picked a cat and this one was even easier for her to do now that she had the hang of it.

I must say I really enjoyed watching Aayla create her shapes with the colour coordinated pieces and I am so happy I created pieces from all the different colour divider sheets. For her age and ability these pattern pieces were awesome! The light table adds another dimension to the learning as well. She did a couple more pictures and then moved onto just creating freestyle shapes with all the pieces. In this first picture she made a pine tree, then added the side pieces to become an owl. She was quite amazed with herself.
 Then she made a blue picture frame.
She played around with mixing colours and over lapping pieces, which led to making a kaleidoscope of colours with all the pieces.

Overall I was very happy with the download from ZisforZebra. My only concern is I wish there was an outline shape for the pattern cards. If the outlines were the correct sized pieces to make the puzzle by covering the outline with the actual puzzle pieces it would make it easier for even younger children (at the age of 2 or 3) to be able play with it it too.

I also found a neat video on YouTube for an APP available called the Magic Egg. It looks like it would be a great puzzle game but it's $.99 and I almost never buy apps (there are so many free ones) so I can't tell you if it's actually good or not but it looks like fun if you or your kids like puzzles.

I also found this site which gives you detailed instructions on how to create an egg tangram with a ruler and a pair of compasses that older children might enjoy.

And how fun would snack be with a batch of these cookies? The cookie cutter egg tangram would be a sweet treat that would be fun to play with and eat. The shop is sold out at the moment but perhaps you could get a custom order?
SOURCE and for sale on Etsy
This next activity uses a regular tangram square shape to make Easter eggs which I thought were kind of cool and appropriate since Easter is only a couple weeks away. This blog is not in English so you will need to have it translated or guess through the DIY photos.
SOURCE with directions
Have you played with an Egg Tangram? If not give this download a try from ZisforZebra on TPT. I found it very helpful myself and would love to hear what you thought of it too.

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