One of the ways we can help our children become better problem solvers is by repeatedly and explicitly giving them opportunities to develop key problem-solving skills. Today’s activities provide opportunities to explore different solutions. In both the Chain of Changes and Coloring Triangles, learners are encouraged to look carefully at each problem, ask questions and utilize a trial and improvement approach.


Chain of Changes

Here is a set of shapes. For this activity, we will call them pieces.

Set of Shapes: circles, squares, oblongs and triangles of colours red yellow and blue.


Each of these pieces is either a different color or a different shape from all the others.

1.  Arrange the pieces in a line so that you change either color or shape in the next piece in the line.

If you start with a blue triangle the next shape has to be either another triangle or another blue shape.

You may want to print and cut out a set of shapes – CHAIN OF SHAPES

The first puzzle is to arrange all the shapes in such a line starting with the blue triangle and ending with the red circle. There are lots of different ways of doing it!

2.  Arrange the pieces in the same way, starting with the blue triangle and ending with the red circle, but to change first color, then shape or vice-versa.

If you put a yellow triangle after the blue one and so change the color, next you must put another yellow piece and so change the shape.

You will not be able to use all the pieces in this way but the problem is to see how many you can use.

Why do you think you cannot use all the pieces?


Coloring Triangles

What do you see below?


What do you notice?
Talk about what is the same and what is different about the two pictures.


Now, it is your turn to color!
Explore ways of coloring the black and white outline of the triangles:

Can you make symmetrical patterns? With two colors? Three colors?
More than three colors?

Here is a sheet of blank triangles – COLORING TRIANGLES