There are many ways to manipulate tangrams. The simplest way is to imaginatively create shapes using the tans. Traditionally, however, tangrams are treated as puzzles.
Tangram puzzles come in the form of silhouettes or shape outlines.
The object of the game is to recreate the shapes by figuring out the proper arrangement and orientation of the individual tans. In doing so, three simple rules need to be followed:
> The tangram puzzles must be completed using all seven tans.
> The tans have to form a continuous shape, with every tan touching at least one other tan.
> The tans can not overlap.
These rules allow for a game that is deceptively simple but infinitely complex! Tangrams further provide lessons in both mental manipulation and imagination.
Artists have adapted tangrams into modern creations. Sometimes the adaptations are straight-forward and literal. Other times they are fantastically interpretive!