Activities

Paper folding models. Print out, cut and fold pop-up models of the fascinating Abacabax stairs. Download a pdf with full instructions and two different templates, an easy version and a more complicated one that looks like this:

Download pdf in A4 paper size

Download pdf in US letter paper size

Puzzle

The Tower of Hanoi puzzle is connected to the Abacaba pattern.

A set of disks is stacked on one of three pins, in order of size with the smallest on the top and the largest on the bottom. The goal is to move the entire tower from its starting position to one of the two other pins. But (1) you may only move one disk at a time and (2) you may never place a larger disk on a smaller disk.

You can play this using playing cards instead of disks. 5 cards is a good number to start with. Make a stack with an ace on the top, then 2, 3, 4 and 5. Start with the stack in your hand and picture two additional positions you can move them to, to the right and to the left. Now move cards one at a time between the three positions (right, left and in your hand), always building stacks and never placing a higher number on a lower number.

Tips: Make your stack alternating colors, for example with black A, 3, 5 and red 2 and 4. If you find a solution, pay attention to both the order of the numbers in the sequence of moves, and in the color of the cards being moved. There is a lot to discover!