Flexagon

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.

Flexagon Steps

  • 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.

Side 1

Front

Side 2

Back

You’ll want to decorate the third side of the flexagon too!  Here’s how to open it up:

Solving the puzzle

To reveal the third side, fold in half making sure the flaps are on the outside. Then open it back up like turning a page in a book.

Presto! You’ve solved the puzzle.

Side 3

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.

Download Flexagon Template

 

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.

Enjoy!

by Josie