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Are your kids fans of perler beads? My kids love them and are always running out. I wanted to do something different with them and thought it would be cool to make a set of perler bead tangrams.
If you are unfamiliar with perler beads, they are small plastic beads that can be molded together with heat. You can make all kinds of pictures and shapes. We have done a lot of things with them in the past. I wanted to do something useful with them, so I thought a math project would be fun. Tangrams are a very easy thing to make with the perler beads! Plus, I made a whole bunch of printable shape images for you to use to make!
How to Make Perler Bead Tangrams
We have a set of clear square perler bead pegboards. This makes it really simple to do this project! If you do not have these, it is still do-able, you will just have a little more trouble making the shapes exact. These pegboards are 5 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches. I found a basic template for a tangram. You can save the image below. I printed it out so that it was the exact same size as the pegboard. When I did it, I printed it about 3 times until it fit exactly. It ended up being 83% of the original image for me.
Once the image is printed, you need to choose your colors. We wanted to do each shape a different color. Line up your pegboard on top of the image and fill the pegs for 2 shapes at a time that are not touching each other. If they are touching, they will melt together and not be separate shapes. So it took a few rounds before they were all done, but since they are just basic geometric shapes, it was quite quick. I like to iron both sides of the perler bead shapes so they are more secure.
Now, just one little word of caution, they will not be perfect because the sides of perler bead projects are never completely level. So, when you build things with them, they will be slightly uneven from traditional tangrams.
Now I have a WHOLE bunch of images you can use to create some fun things with your perler bead tangrams! You can make animals, geometric shapes, numbers, letters people and more!
Some Animal Tangrams You Can Make:
Now for Some Number Tangrams:
You can do SO many other things with them! Just google tangram images and you will find a lot of other fun ideas! We are having a great time with these!