Make a Triflexahexagon for Your Kids

You simply MUST make a Triflexahexagon.  I can’t stop playing with it!  I know it is supposed to be a kids toy.  And the kids I show it to love it, but so do I.  If you are bored staying home make one of these toys.

I have tried several versions, drawn, cut out, with and without triangles, etc.  I finally settled on the two that are in the download file and I will explain how to do the variations.  I was inspired by the ones I saw at schoolartsroom.com and they even have a math lesson to go with theirs. (But don’t tell your kids it’s math)

You will need:
        • Cardstock for the base
        • Various Cardstock scraps
        • Pen
        • Glue
        • Download File
Paper Selection

The base needs to be plain solid core paper and heavy but not too heavy 65 to 100 lb weight should do.  It needs to be slightly flexible but it does loosen up with use.  If it isn’t solid core it starts to crack and you see white like the basketball one above.

The pen for the sports one needs to be fine point or you can’t see the details.

The flower petals might look nice cut from patterned paper.  Maybe I will make that one next.

Cutting the card

Cut the card base and the Cricut will do the writing.  I used a black gel pen.  Did you know that you can use any pen in your Cricut?  You can see the trick here.  Otherwise it is pretty easy to cut. .  You will want to sort the pieces into colors if you are making the flowers.

Making a Triflexahexagon

First re-crease all the folds on the triflexahexagon.  For the flower one you can cut the base piece in half and glue the flower petals to both sides.  It holds up better that way.  The sports one needs the whole base.  If you are using the whole base it needs to be folded lengthwise and glued together.  It is very important that this be exact.

Re flex all the score line to make sure they move easily.  Glue the flower petals on both sides of the triflexahexagon.  Follow the pattern exactly as to which way the flower center points.  Glue one side then flip it over.

I have labeled the triangles 1 to 10 and drawn in the score lines to help with folding.  Place the folded pattern with the side without empty spots facing up.  The last section on the left should have the triangle pointing down (image 1). Fold back on the line between the third and forth triangles (image 2).  Fold on the line between triangle 6 and 7 (image 3). Pull the triangle 9 forward in front of triangle 1 (image 4)  and fold triangle 10 back and glue the back of triangle 1 to the back of triangle 10. And that’s how you make a triflexahexagon.  Now to play with it.

 

Playing with a Triflexahexagon

Now that I’ve taught you to make a triflexahexagon, it is time to play with it.  There are three steps.  Pinch, Pull, Flatten.  Pinch two sides together like the picture.  Pull at the gap you can see in the picture. If you don’t see a gap try pulling a little with your thumb.  If they don’t come apart, try pinching two different sides.  You will find one that works.  Pull on the piece.  This may take a little effort but you shouldn’t have to pull too hard.  And flatten it out to see the next picture.  Then repeat over and over and over…

 

Variations
I did a sports one too and had one where I drew on triangles.  To make the triangles just select the triangle shape in Design Space and make it slightly smaller than one of the triangles of the triflexahexagon.  Make each ball or petal a different colored triangle.  Then if you are drawing attach the drawing for that triangle drawing to the triangle.  With the flowers just glue the petals on the triangle.

If you want a different picture set than the flowers or sports balls, there are a couple of rules.  First, it must be circular.  Second you must divide it into eight pieces.  Just line them up pointing the same way as the flowers are in the picture.

 

Your done!  And remember don’t tell your kids it is math until they are addicted!

 

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