Space Week - Tangram Rockets

Hi everyone, this is Elise with day 2 of your Space Week at home activities. If you missed day 1, you can find the first space activity here.

This has been quite the week. With the earthquake in Utah yesterday, and the continued community closures, I know all of us are feeling a little rattled. After getting my 72 hour kit ready and by the door, I thought about what activity we could still do that would be easy and engaging for the kiddos.

I decided on one of my favorite quiet activities from my childhood – tangrams! If you have never used tangrams before, they are a Chinese geometric puzzle consisting of a square cut into seven pieces that can be arranged to make various other shapes. Either you can print the tangram template I have provided, or you can draw your own, like this. Tangrams are perfect for children of all ages, and you can make the activity as mathematical as you like. You can practice shapes, angles, measurements, colors, and more.

After cutting out the tangram shapes, you will create different rocket puzzles – each rocket puzzle uses all the pieces of the tangram. To get inspiration and learn more about rocket launches, check out this Space X Starlink Mission video. This video is from the launch that took place yesterday morning, March 18th, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Tangram Rockets

Files: 

Supplies needed:

  • Printed Tangram
  • Or Piece of Paper and Draw Your Own Tangram
  • Scissors
  • Pen or Pencil and Straight Edge (if drawing your own)

Activity Instructions:

  1. First, cut out your tangram pieces. You should have 7 pieces total.
  2. Depending on the age of your kids, you can have them name the shapes, color them different colors, measure the lengths of the sides (remember the Pythagorean Theorem), and more.
  3. Then use the tangram pieces to recreate the different Tangram Rocketship Puzzles.
  4. Remember, each puzzle uses all 7 pieces of the tangram.
  5. Challenge your kids to put the pieces back into the shape of the square when they are done building the other puzzles.
  6. Store the shapes in Ziploc bags for another day!

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