Here’s a polyomino puzzle that’s easy to create for someone else to solve. Grab another member of your family and each make some puzzles for the other to solve.

These polyomino puzzles are really simple to make, so you can make as many as you want… and it’s very easy to increase the difficulty. Quick to construct… harder to solve. Perfect.

To Construct

You’ll need some square paper. Make your own or download and print some. This one is good

Choose a simple polyomino shape. A polyomino is a shape made up of adjacent squares. Start with a tetromino – a polyomino consisting of four squares. There are seven different tetrominoes – counting the reflections as separate shapes.

Now, on your squared paper, draw the shape multiple times to construct a larger shape. Don’t leave any gaps in the middle of the shape. It’s fine to rotate the tetromino and draw it in different orientations, but if you choose one of the yellow shapes above, take care not to reflect it. 

On a separate sheet of paper, draw just the outline of the shape. The puzzle is ready to solve.

To Solve

When solving a puzzle you are given the outline of the large shape and told how many times the polyomino is repeated within the shape. Working from the outline, you must figure out which polyomino can was used to construct the outline and where the individual tiles are placed within the outline. Draw the individual shapes into the outline.

Your solution should match the puzzle-setter’s original construction.

When you’ve had a practise with some easy puzzles, you may like to experiment with some ways to make the puzzles harder to solve.

  1. Use larger polyominoes. 
  2. Place more polyominoes within the outline.
  3. Don’t tell the solver how many times the shape has been placed within the outline (this makes it a lot harder, as the solver doesn’t know how big the shapes are). 
  4. Aim to construct an outline that can be solved in two different ways with two different polyominoes and require the solver to provide both solutions.

Like this? Here are some games to try at home.