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Learning with Patterns – Plus a Free Printable!

2013-10-05 by Kim Vij

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These activities to inspire learning with patterns are shared by our guest blogger Kim Vij of The Educators’ Spin On It.

Learning with Patterns Plus a Free Printable

Patterns are everywhere! They are such a playful way to start working on life-long math concepts with your child.  From the patterns in our clothes, plants around us and even in the way we line up our toys we can create opportunities for discovery and learning with patterns throughout the day. I recommend that you consider having activities set up for building patterns for your child. Before we start, let’s focus on the skills your child can develop while making patterns.

Patterning Can Help a Child Develop

  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Eye Hand Coordination
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Visual Discrimination
  • Vocabulary
  • Identify Colors, Size and Shapes
  • Mathematical Concepts

Did you know that patterning even can work on pre-writing skills?

Teaching Children About Patterns

Here are some quick ways to create opportunities at home for patterns. *Teacher Tip: Always allow your child time to play freely and explore a new material before you encourage them to create a pattern with it.

Learning with Patterns Plus a Printable

Wooden Lacing Beads 

The top item on my list for patterning are my Wooden Lacing Beads. Each of my kids used these for hours and hours throughout their childhood.  I just recently discovered the Lacing Beads in a Box that includes different shapes, colors and numbers which makes patterning even more creative. As your child gets a little older my girls really enjoy the Bead Sequencing Learning Set which comes with pattern matching cards and can be built up which they love working on together.

Create Patterns from Everyday Items

Recycled items can make the best patterning materials such as lids. Other everyday items are fun too like straws, toys, blocks, shells, rocks, beads and even snack items. Anything that you can get around 10-20 items of easily.

Learning with Patterns Plus a Free Printable

Create a Pattern Book

Encourage your child to record their patterns in a book. You can use seasonal images or even coloring the wooden beads images to make a pattern book together.

Go on a Pattern Hunt Outdoors

Head outdoors and start searching for patterning in nature and record in your pattern book together.

Create a Chalk Pattern Outdoors

Using chalk you can create a variety of shape, letter and number patterns in a playful way.

Learning with Patterns Plus A Free Printable

Create Seasonal Patterning Games

Patterns can be made with anything and autumn makes the perfect time to build up some activities using simple images of apples, leaves, pumpkins, bats, spiders, turkeys. Here are a few printables you can use to get you started. I like to print them out and encourage my child to sort out independently and create their own patterns with them. {Click here to Print}

Making patterns can be a lot of fun. Encourage your child to share their discoveries with you. You will be surprised how many places your child can find a pattern!

What objects do you like to use to make patterns? Share your ideas with us on Instagram using the hashtags #TakeBackChildhood, #CountlessWaysToPlay and #MelissaAndDoug.


Kim Vij

Kim Vij is an early childhood educator and mom of three. She shares her “Educator’s Spin” on parenting issues and how to make everyday moments into learning opportunities at The Educators’ Spin On It and award winning Pinterest Boards. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

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