Flexagons are pretty fascinating and so I thought it would be fun to introduce them to my kids. I decided to make a tritetraflexagon since it is considered the simplest one according to Wikipedia. Here’s how to put one together using a sheet of 9″ x 12″ construction paper.
- In steps 1 and 2, make a 2″ fold lengthwise and then cut it out to make a 4″ x 12″ piece. Keep it folded.
- Next, you’ll need to make 5 square accordion folds. To determine your first fold, (steps 3 & 4) first gently fold a tip over to make an even sided triangle. Open the triangle back up and you’ll see where the first square fold will be made. Make 5 accordion folds and be sure to make a good crease each time (step 5).
- Cut off the narrow rectangle piece at the end. Then, open the sheet back up and cut the squares out with the X’s in them as displayed in step 6.
- You’ll end up with a piece of paper shaped like the model in step 7. Fold the top two squares under the middle column so that it looks like the step 8 model.
- Then finally, fold the bottom right square over to the left and place a piece of tape to secure the right side squares together.
Decorate the front and back of your flexagon.
You’ll want to decorate the third side of the flexagon too! Here’s how to open it up:
Presto! You’ve solved the puzzle.
If you’re pressed for time, you can download the template to make a smaller version. Once printed, cut out the piece, make folds along the lines, and then continue with step 8 in the above diagram.
My five year old was able to figure out the puzzle as soon as I handed it to her. She’ll still fiddle around with it though, and so does my 3 year old. Stay tuned to the craft blog for a medium-difficulty flexagon and hopefully, it’ll be more challenging for those who found the tritetraflexagon too simple.