Colored Boxes Puzzle

Learn to make four colored boxes that will be used as a puzzle. The object of the puzzle is to arrange the boxes in a row so that each side of the line of boxes is a single color and that each line is a different color.

This project is rated: EASY

Materials needed:
  • Card stock or computer paper
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers
  • Tape or glue

Project Instructions

  1. Print out the four box pattern pieces at below-right. Card stock is recommended, but you can use ordinary computer paper.
  2. Color each pattern according to the labels adjacent to each. The project image also shows the color arrangement. You do not have to use the colors shown, but you do need four different colors applied in the arrangement shown.
  3. Cut out each box.
  4. Fold downward along each line so as to make the adjoining pieces at right angles.
  5. Assemble each box. There are four squares in a vertical pattern; join the top of the top square to the bottom of the bottom square using tape or glue. Then the two squares at the sides can be folded in and taped to make the final shape.
    NOTE: If you need more instructions on assembling your boxes, look at steps 4, 5, 6, and 7 of Aunt Annie’s Gift Boxes.

Box Puzzle

When you have assembled all four boxes, arrange them in a row so that each side is a different color.

If you have a color printer, you may prefer to print the already colored box patterns at right.

There are over 40,000 ways to arrange the boxes, therefore it is difficult to find the correct arrangement unless you know the SECRET.

Box Puzzle SECRET

There are three ways that each box can be oriented. That is, there are three ways that you can traverse four sides of the box and return to the start. The following picture illustrates the three options.

Box Puzzle image

For each box, only one of the three options allows you to traverse four sides with each side being a different color. Once you find the orientation for each box that has all four colors in the correct sequence, it is a simple matter to position the boxes in a row to satisfy the puzzle requirement.

Colored Boxes
Box pattern
Colored Boxes
Tags: box | cube | puzzle
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