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There's a reason bee's nests are built from hexagonal forms: they interact well and combine to create stable grids.

Lilly's hex set 2.jpg
Hexagon origami instructions.jpg

Follow the origami folding steps to creatie your own set of origami hexagons and play a hexagon game with them.

For more information about bee's nests, check out this Science Friday podcast.

What you need: Paper cut into equally sized rectangles.


  • Follow the folding instructions shown on this page.

  • Make multiple hexagons from the same size paper.
    There are many games we can play with these hexagons. Below is a game recommended by the New York Times.


Players: 2

The winner is the person who has the most tiles flipped in their orientation.

Set Up: 
1. Make an even number of tiles (16 minimum). Create tiles that have text, images and white space on the edges of the tiles.
2. Divide the tiles evenly between the players.
3. Player 1 is the smooth side (no visible folds) and Player 2 is the fold side (folds visible).


  • Players take turns placing tiles in positions where the edges align. On their turn, Player 1 lays one tile facing up so the smooth side is visible and Player 2 lays one tile so the folds are visible. Tiles must connect to at least one other tile and align on along the edge.

  • A match is when sides that are connected have one of three things in common: text, images or white space. 

  • If a tile matches on all connecting sides, it can be flipped. It must also be connected to a just-placed or just-flipped tile.

  • If a tile becomes flippable, it must be flipped. Tiles can be flipped in any order, and flipping a tile can cause chain reactions.

  • Each tile can only be flipped once per turn.

The game ends when all tiles have been placed, or when at least one player has no valid moves left. Each player then counts the tiles flipped to their orientation. The player with the most tiles wins.

Additional New York Times hexagon games: Playing the Paper

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