Pattern activities for Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten
Looking for some fun ways to teach patterning skills in your Preschool or Pre-K classroom?
Patterning is a basic math skill upon which many mathematical concepts are based. Basic math skills, such as patterns, help establish a strong foundation for learning more advanced math concepts later.
Developmental Sequence of Pattern Skills
Here’s the developmental sequence for teaching patterning skills to your young children in Preschool or Pre-K.
- Stage 1: Child can recognize a pattern
- Stage 2: Child can describe a pattern
- Stage 3: Child can copy a pattern
- Stage 4: Child can extend a pattern
- Stage 5: Child can create a pattern
Basic patterns include two items, or AB. More complex patterns include ABC, ABC; AABB,AABB; AAB,AAB; ABB, ABB
It can take months or even an entire school year for preschoolers to achieve mastery of patterning. For this reason it is important to provide your students with plenty of patterning practice all year long.
Objectives: Recognize, describe, copy, extend, and create patterns
Different ways to make patterns
- Concrete objects
Books about Patterns
Using Music to Teach Patterning Skills
I routinely use songs to help reinforce math skills in my classroom. I have used the pattern song from HeidiSongs Musical Math DVD with great success in my classroom. The Musical Math DVD has several songs for teaching different types of patterns. HeidiSongs are effective because they use a multi-sensory approach which adds movement to each song so the students sing the song and move at the same time. When combined, these strategies provide a more meaningful experience that will promote retention of the concept being taught.
Ice Cube Tray Patterns
Materials: ice cube trays, one per child, colored pom-pom’s
Give the students a variety of colored pom-pom’s and show them how to pattern in the ice cube tray.
Materials: inexpensive erasers from Oriental Trading to go with your theme
You can order inexpensive erasers from Oriental Trading to match just about any theme. Use the erasers to make patterns on paper.
Materials: inexpensive stamps from Oriental Trading to go with your theme
You can order inexpensive stamps from Oriental Trading to match just about any theme. Use the stamps to make patterns on paper. It works best if you use strips of paper with a grid as pictured above.
More Pattern Ideas
I have many other ideas for teaching patterning skills on the individual theme pages.
More Math Ideas