Playing With Patterns

Patterns are fascinating.  From simple to intricate, patterns are found in the world all around us.  There are also patterns in literacy, science, technology, music, art, and of course numeracy.  Being able to identify the repeating segment of a pattern, and predict what will come next is an important skill. 

Of course, to kids – patterns are just plain fun!  Here are five easy ways to play with patterns:

  • Pasta patterns. Pop uncooked pasta into a ziploc bag with a squirt of vinegar and a few drops of food colouring. Jiggle around, then turn out onto paper towel to dry. Rigatoni is great for threading necklaces.
  • Cutlery patterns. Tip out all those plastic spoons and forks and let your child go for it. When they are done, you can always get them to wash them up…
  • Nature patterns. Collect a bunch of sticks and leaves from the backyard, and go for it!  If your child is great with two elements, try extending them to three or four.  What’s in your backyard? Gumnuts… macadamias… flowers… berries… barkchips… rocks…
  • Peg patterns.  Great for keeping toddlers busy while you hang out the washing.  Start a simple A-B pattern and let them continue pegging. Blue peg, red peg, blue peg, red peg.
  • Sugar sachet patterns. Don’t laugh. We play patterns with sugar sachets every time we’re at a coffee shop!  Thank goodness raw sugar and white sugar come in different coloured sachets.

Do your kids enjoy making patterns? Suggest another idea below!

5 thoughts on “Playing With Patterns

  1. I was not laughing one bit! We have done the sugar packet pattern play many times. My son has been OBSESSED with making and finding patterns for a while, and my daughter is just starting to enjoy them. I love your ideas, and think Big M will too;)

  2. Yes this is a very great concept…as there is quite a few a few skills to learn from this….how about bottle tops pattern…save a few lids of different bottles and create an activity with this…

  3. Cut pieces of fruit make for good patterning – my helpers just love adding those bite sized pieces to lunchboxes, too :) Little Miss loves making patterns with our bag of buttons too – you can pattern by size (big, small), colour or shape. Hours of fun for everyone :)

  4. My girls LOVE patterns, especially mynoldest who makes patterns out of everything. It is fun to see how their minds work and find play in everything even sugar packets.

    Great ideas here – thanks so much for sharing.

    I would love for you to link up on my new Kids Craft & Educational type linky party – The Sunday Showcase which just started today!

    Here is the direct link to link-up:

    I hope you will link-up and “showcase” your amazing work – you ahve so many wonderful ideas here to share!

    Bernadette – Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

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