What Are Pentominoes?
Pentominoes are shapes made from 5 squares and
provide a fascinating way of exploring shape and space within a
There are 12 different pentominoes in the set and they can be used
for a variety of activities and puzzles.
Click to get the full set, game board
The set can be assembled to make a 10 by 6 rectangle.
The one shown on the left can be divided into two smaller 5 by 6
rectangles. There are 2339 different ways to make a 10 by 6
rectangle but it is a very challenging puzzle.
The puzzle works best if you print the shapes you need onto coloured
card, laminate them and then cut them out. Solution can be recorded
on squared paper. Sometimes pentominoes need to be turned
A Pentomino Game
There is a page offering a pentomino game. The
game is played by dividing the pieces among two or three players.
Each player places a piece on the game board in turn. Pieces must
not overlap each other. The last player to place a piece is the
winner. The winner starts the next game. Games typically last 6
Pentominoes are usually named
after the letter of the alphabet which they resemble. The ones
below, the C and the P pentomino, are clear but with others some
imagination may be needed to spot the letter.
Make small rectangles such as 3 by 5 and 4 by 5.
These are straightforward and there are many examples to
Make larger rectangles. Both 5 by 6 and 5 by 7 are
Make rectangles with the full set. This is very hard
despite there being thousands of ways to do it. The 20 by 3
rectangle is the simplest to make - there are just two ways to do
Make a larger copy of one of the shapes. There is a
template page for enlarging the P pentomino using 9 of the other
pieces. Click here or on the P shape
above for a copy of this activity.
All pages on both the CD and the website
are Copyright Bob Ansell and Mathematical Publishing - First Published 2001