I think paint chips are SO cool. The possibilities are really endless when it comes to ways they can be used. We have been reading the book The Rag Coat as part of our Five in a Row curriculum this week, and the book talks a lot about quilting. Since quilting is primarily focused on putting geometric shapes together to create a pattern or a picture, I thought that playing with tangrams would tie in well. These are such a cool manipulative to have whether you homeschool or not. Kids love them, they are virtually free to make, and they can be used to make a million different things. So here is a little tutorial to show you how to make your own paint chip tangrams.

tangrams with text

Paint Chip Tangrams


  • 6-7 paint chips in the colors of your choice
  • adhesive magnets (You can buy these at any craft store or home improvement store)
  • scissors
  • This sheet which includes the free template and the designs to build (from Activities for Kids)
  • A magnet board

Tangrams 1


  • Cut the shapes out of the tangram template. Trace the shapes on to the back the paint chips (I used one color per shape). You may want to use pen as pencil didn’t show up very well for me.
  • Cut the shapes out of the paint chips.
  • Cut small magnet pieces and adhere them to the back of each shape.

tangrams 2

Then get building! There are a million free tangram patterns online in case your kiddo really enjoys this. Addison blew through the ones that came with the template in a matter of minutes.

tangrams 3

Playing with tangrams is such a great way to reinforce shape recognition, and to learn about spatial relationships. To recreate these pictures really requires kids to think! If you’re looking for a boredom-buster, this is a great one to have in your back pocket. I was even thinking that it would be fun to make a non-magnetic set of these with some laminated pattern cards to keep in the diaper bag or purse for use during church, or while waiting at a restaurant. This set took all of five minutes to assemble, and because I already had some magnetic tape laying around, it was free! If you give it a try, let me know how your kids like it!

tangrams 4




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4 Responses to Paint Chip Tangrams

  1. Emma says:

    Paint chips are awesome – and so colorful! I love that you added magnets to the back too!

    • homespunsprout@gmail.com says:

      Thanks Emma! We have been having a ton of fun with these. There are a million free templates for the kids to copy floating around out there. So fun!

  2. These are lovely – I could see them becoming a great alternative to the array of magnets we have on our fridge at home! Thanks for sharing on the #frugalfamily linky this week!

    • homespunsprout@gmail.com says:

      What a GREAT idea keeping them on the fridge! I have mine in a ziplock baggie stored with our magnet board. But on the fridge they could play whenever! Thanks for the great idea! Why didn’t I think of that?? ha!

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