Last Sunday at the Golden Key Russian School, we did a fun and engaging activity involving pentaminoes.  Pentaminoes are shapes made out of five squares connected along edges.  There are 12 of them up to rotations and reflections:

ImageThese shapes can be used to make fun, visual puzzles of various levels of difficulty.  We started by giving the kids some fairly easy ones such as:

ImageThe goal here is to cover the shape with any two different pentaminoes.  As the kids got the hang of it, we started giving them shapes that had to be covered by three or four pentaminoes.  Try your hand at these:

pentamino puzzles4

And here are the kids in action:

ImageImageThe kids also had to draw diagrams of their solutions.


The puzzle game Katamino contains a myriad of pentamino puzzles, starting with some that are easy for Katie and ending with ones that I cannot do myself.  Warning: it can be addictive!

About aofradkin

I enjoy thinking about presenting mathematical concepts to young children in exciting and engaging ways.
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