Creating patterns helps strengthen kids’ critical thinking skills, leads to better math comprehension and is a concept usually found in a traditional preschool and elementary math curriculum. Practice math patterns with your preschool and elementary kids in a fun, hands-on way by creating a Repeating Math Pattern Art Project.
When possible, interactive learning games and creative hands-on activities are my favorite way to teach and supplement our traditional workbook curriculum. Patterning comes up often in math, and my preschool and kindergartner love to play a game where I try to stump them by making “tricky” patterns to follow.
While this “game” can be done in many ways without any special materials, my kids especially love any chance to use glue (and I love giving them opportunities to be creative, practice fine motor skills, and keep them constructively busy so I can work with the older kids).
To make this critical-thinking Repeating Math Pattern Art Project you’ll need:
- Creating a Pattern printable
- printing paper or card stock
- scraps of construction paper
- scissors or shape punches
Download and Print
Download the blank Creating a Pattern printable and print on paper or card stock.
BONUS TIP: Consider using this printable over and over for lots more patterning practice! Laminate for durability and create patterns with colored blocks, unifix cubes, small candies, colored cereal pieces, beads, and more!
Cut or Punch Colored Paper
With scissors, have your kids cut (or tear!) small pieces of colored paper or punch an assortment of shapes. My 8-year old loves to punch with shape punches, so I often give her this “activity” and then save her punched pieces in a zipped bag for projects such as this.
Create a Pattern
Have your kids create a repeating pattern in each row of the printable by gluing the colorful cut/punched paper pieces.
Vary the activity depending on your child’s ability. For my younger ones, I start the pattern for them–some easy, some more difficult, and ask them to continue the pattern. More advanced pattern creators can be given instructions such as “create an AB pattern.”
- AB Pattern (red, yellow, red, yellow . . . )
- ABC Pattern (red, yellow, blue, red, yellow, blue . . . )
- ABBC Pattern (red, yellow, yellow, blue, red, yellow, yellow, blue . . . )
I love seeing the creativity that emerges with various shapes and colors once kids they understand how patterning works and begin to apply their critical thinking skills.
Making Patterns Flannel Board Fun
This math patterning activity is also a fun kid-approved felt or flannel board activity. Cut shapes from varying colors of felt, and let your kids practice creating math patterns on the self-sticking surface.
What are your favorite hands-on math activities?