Tessellation Puzzles

All of the tessellation puzzles on this page can be be assembled several different ways, making them open-ended and encouraging creativity. M.C. Escher was famous for his tessellations using recognizable motifs such as lizards and birds. The Escher-inspired puzzles on this page were designed by Robert Fathauer to fit together in many different ways, while nearly all of Escher's designs fit together a single way.

   

Aperiodic Shirts Puzzle
$19.95
This puzzle consists of 42 tiles that all have the same shape the recently discovered monotile that only tessellates aperiodically (in non-repeating fashion). A small fraction (around 13%) of the tiles must be mirrored for the tiling to work. Six of the tiles in this set are mirrored, indicated by the backside (flipped over) shirt graphics. The pieces are 5-mm-thick EVA foam with magnet backing. You can select mostly blue (only mirrored tiles green), mostly green, or 50/50 (half green, half blue). All the pieces together cover an area around 9 inches in diameter.

   

Acrylic "Hat" Aperiodic Monotile Puzzle
$32.95
This puzzle consists of 35 tiles that all have the same shape the recently discovered monotile that only tessellates aperiodically (in non-repeating fashion). The set contains five pieces in each of seven colors. In the image here, the blue tiles are flipped over, and each of the other six colors is given its own rotational orientation. The pieces are laser cut from 3-mm-thick acrylic. All of the pieces together cover an area around 9-10 inches across.

   

Acrylic "Hat" Puzzle Add-on
$7.00
Here at MathArtFun, we understand it takes more than 35 tiles to cover the infinite mathematical plane. This add-on set contains an additional seven pieces (one per color). Buy as many as you like.

   
In the Ocean
$19.95
Features three things found in the ocean -- squids, sea turtles, and rays -- in blue, sea green, and purple. Every piece fits every other piece for an ocean of possibilities! Color instructions show over a dozen different tessellations that can be formed with the set. Ages 5 to adult. 90 foam pieces.
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In the Ocean Classroom Pack
$44.95
225 foam pieces (enough for 10-15 students). Activity sheets and worksheets accompany the Classroom Pack, covering different types of symmetry found in tessellations, and also characterizing and classifying tessellations using their vertices.
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Tessel-8
$39.95
This geometric puzzle featuring octagons and octagrams (8-pointed stars) was inspired by Islamic art. The octagram and cross tessellation has been used architecturally since at least the 13th Century. The puzzle also contains squares and rhombi. Edges lengths are 1", making the pieces compatible with Tessel-Gons and Tessel-Gon Stars. Ages 6 to adult. 160 magnetic foam pieces.
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In the Garden Magnet Pack
$25.00
*** Special 25th Anniversary Price ***
To celebrate a quarter century of our most popular puzzle, we're offering the Magnet Pack for $4.95 off the regular price, this month only. Create your own colorful garden! Arrange and rearrange caterpillars, butterflies, flowers and more for hours of open ended fun. Instructions contain suggested patterns as well as brain teasers. Ages 5 to adult. 97 pieces plus color instructions and lesson guide. The pieces are a little over 3 mm thick, a laminated stack of flexible magnet, foam, and printed layer.
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Tessel-gon Stars Standard Pack
$17.95
Contains star polygons with three, four, six, eight, and twelve points, as well as equilateral triangles and squares. Tessel-gon Stars forms a variety of beautiful and fascinating tessellations. Can be used along with Tessel-gons. Ages 5 to adult. 120 nonmagnetic foam pieces.
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Tessel-gon Stars Classroom Pack
$29.95
Contains star polygons with three, four, six, eight, and twelve points, as well as equilateral triangles and squares. Tessel-gon Stars forms a variety of beautiful and fascinating tessellations. Can be used along with Tessel-gons. Ages 5 to adult. 340 nonmagnetic foam pieces.

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Kites and Darts II Magnet Pack
$24.95
These tiles, also known as Penrose tiles after their inventor, form endless patterns, none of which are repeating. Among their many intriguing properties is the way in which the Golden Ratio crops up over and over again. Ages 8 to adult. 105 magnetic foam pieces.
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HexaPlex
$39.95
"HexaPlex" is the world's first true fractal puzzle. With this unique puzzle, students and other puzzle lovers can actually build a fractal with their own hands. This magnet-backed foam puzzle contains only one shape, but in five different sizes, with over 270 pieces in all. Following a simple set of rules, iterative placement of the different size pieces builds an approximation of a infinite fractal. Different matching rules result in different fractals using the same set. A 12-page instruction pamphlet, including 9 challenges and 3 copyable worksheets, comes with the puzzle. Ages 8 to adult.
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TetraMania
$11.95
Be warned: TetraMania can strike at any time! They look simple enough. Five shapes made up of four squares that can be arranged and rearranged to form hundreds of tempting patterns. 60 magnet-backed foam pieces. Ages 5 to adult.

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TriangleMania
$11.95
Guranteed to unleash the triangle maniac in you! Three sizes of colorful equilateral triangles, 72 in all, form hundreds of tantalizing patterns. 72 magnet-backed foam pieces. Ages 5 to adult.

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Making Faces
$19.95
A unique tessellation puzzle in which a face is formed where four square pieces fit together. There are three different types of pieces, allowing over 1,000 distinct faces. What's more, if a face is viewed upside down, as different rightside-up face is seen! Making Faces comes with instructions that include several brain teasers plus a game using the pieces. Four reproducible worksheets cover translational and rotational symmetry in tessellations, the mathematics of combinations, and drawing 2-way faces. 120 cardboard pieces, packaged in a plastic jar.
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