“Hands-on-Puzzles” Workshops

Along with the Chinese Puzzles exhibition, the Chinese Culture Center will be offering hands-on sessions to school groups and Summer/Fall programs. From July to October, the students will have a chance to learn about traditional Chinese puzzles and to have fun solving them. The workshops will be led by the collectors, Wei Zhang and Peter Rasmussen, and will include the following:

I. Guided Tour of the Chinese Puzzles Exhibition (15-20 minutes):

Students will view the antique Chinese puzzles on display. They will hear stories about the puzzles and gain appreciation of the craftsmanship employed in making them.

II. “Puzzle Party” (45-90 minutes):

The following Puzzle Party activities will be tailored to suit the ages and interests of each group.

• Tangram and the Fifteen-Piece Puzzle:
Students will construct pictures and designs using tangram pieces. Older students will use 15-piece puzzles to form Chinese characters.

• Linked Ring Puzzles:
Students will play with and solve simple ring puzzles. Then they’ll progress to traditional Chinese puzzles with five, seven and nine linked rings. They’ll also discuss the mathematics of linked ring puzzles.

• Sliding Block Puzzles:
Students will play with Huarong Dao, the Chinese sliding block puzzle. They’ll hear the ancient story of Cao Cao’s escape from Guan Yu at Huarong Pass.

• Puzzle Vessels:
Students will participate in demonstrations of two kinds of Chinese puzzle vessels. They’ll discuss the stories behind the vessels and the scientific principles involved.

• Making Puzzles to Take Home:
Students will use readily available materials to create their own puzzles to take home and share with family and friends.

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For more information about the workshops, please call (415) 986-1822 x25 or send an email at the following address: clpape@c-c-c.org

Photo: Ivory fifteen-piece puzzle, Beijing, 19th century
Photograph by Niana Liu