BlogActivities for Kids12 Best Pattern Activities for Preschoolers in 2024

12 Best Pattern Activities for Preschoolers in 2024

Looking for fun ways to teach kids about patterns? You’re in the right place! This blog will explore 12 pattern activities for preschoolers designed to make learning about patterns enjoyable and educational. Let’s dive in and discover how these activities can boost your child’s understanding of patterns in everyday life!

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1. Counting in Patterns

Materials Needed:

  • Printed worksheets
  • Pencils or crayons

Steps:

  • Challenge children to identify and continue number sequences that follow a specific pattern, such as adding two or subtracting one. 

Learning Outcomes: By filling in missing numbers and completing sets on the worksheet, kids can strengthen their understanding of numerical order and arithmetic operations. It’s an excellent way to practice counting skills while recognizing and predicting numerical patterns, making it a vital exercise for developing mathematical fluency in young learners.

Here are fun pattern worksheets to get started:

2. Shape Sorting

Materials Needed:

  • Assorted shapes cut from colored paper or felt
  • Labeled boxes

Steps:

  • Spread out the various shapes before your child and name each one. Include a mix of circles, squares, triangles, and other shapes you’d like to introduce.
  • Have boxes labeled with the names of the shapes. Ask your child to sort the shapes into the correct box.
  • Challenge them further by asking them to sort the shapes by color and then by shape, or even create patterns within the box using the shapes.

Learning Outcomes: This activity teaches children to categorize and recognize different shapes and colors, fundamental skills in pattern activities for kids. It also helps develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Get started with these worksheets:

Related Reading: Best Shape Activities For Preschoolers

3. Pattern Towers with Blocks

Kid building a pattern tower
Source:  @pinterest.com

Materials Needed:

  • Blocks of various colors and sizes
  • A flat surface like a table or a floor mat

Steps:

  • Start by building a simple base pattern, such as a red block followed by a blue block, and repeat.
  • Ask your child to continue the pattern upwards, creating a tower. They can also start their own pattern next to yours.
  • Once they are comfortable, introduce different patterns by changing the order of colors or the number of blocks between repetitions.

Learning Outcomes: Building pattern towers allows children to engage in spatial thinking and understand sequences, which are crucial components of pattern crafts for preschoolers. This activity also fosters creativity and boosts problem-solving abilities as they figure out how to balance the blocks while maintaining the pattern.

4. Identifying Patterns in Storybooks

Kid reading a storybook
Source: @toddlertalk.com

Materials Needed:

A selection of children’s storybooks that include clear patterns or repetitive elements

Steps:

  • Select a few books that have obvious patterns in the text or illustrations.
  • As you read, pause when a pattern emerges and point it out, then ask your child to guess what might come next.
  • After reading, discuss the patterns found in the story. Ask your child if they can think of similar patterns in other books or in their surroundings.

Learning Outcomes: Children will learn to recognize and anticipate patterns in language, which is an important skill for early literacy. This activity fosters an understanding of narrative structures, making it a valuable part of pattern activities for pre k.

5. Pattern Dance Moves

Kids dancing
Source: @eurokids.com

Materials Needed:

  • Music player
  • Space to dance

Steps:

  • Choose music with a clear, repetitive beat that’s easy to dance to.
  • Demonstrate a simple dance pattern, such as step, step, clap, and repeat. Encourage your child to follow.
  • Alternate who leads the dance, allowing your child to choose and create their own dance patterns.
  • After each dance, talk about what pattern was made and try it again, or create a new one.

Learning Outcomes: This activity enhances children’s ability to recognize and repeat rhythmic patterns, contributing to their musical and physical development. It also boosts memory and coordination, making it one of the most simple pattern activities for preschoolers.

Related Reading: Best Dance Songs for Kids to Get Them Grooving

6. Clapping and Tapping Patterns

Mother and child clapping
Source: @magicalmovementcompanycarolynsblog.com

Materials Needed:

  • None (Just hands and a surface to tap on)

Steps:

  • Start by clapping a simple pattern such as clap, clap, pause, clap. Have your child repeat it.
  • Gradually add more elements like tapping on a table, snapping fingers, or stomping feet.
  • Turn it into a game where you create a pattern and your child has to match it, then let them create a pattern for you to follow.
  • Try to keep up with each other and see how long you can maintain the rhythm without breaking the pattern.

Learning Outcomes: Children will develop auditory discrimination skills and improve their ability to follow and create rhythmic patterns. These are foundational skills in preschool pattern activities that enhance coordination and timing.

7. Dot Markers and Paper

Dot patterns
Source: @pinterest.com

Materials Needed:

  • Dot markers
  • Large sheets of paper

Steps:

  • Lay out the paper on a flat surface.
  • Show how to use dot markers to make patterns on the paper, such as dot, dot, line, dot, dot, line.
  • Give your child the freedom to create their own patterns using different colors and sequences.
  • Discuss the patterns your child has created. Ask about why they chose those patterns and what they like about them.

Learning Outcomes: This artistic activity encourages creativity while reinforcing the understanding of sequences and patterns. It’s a tactile and visually stimulating way to engage in pattern activities that also promote fine motor skills development.

Related Reading: Best Fine Motor Activities For Preschoolers

8. Use Objects to Create Shadow Patterns

Kid using object to cast shadow
Source: @thebestideasforkids.com

Materials Needed:

  • Flashlight
  • Variety of small objects (toys, utensils, leaves, etc.)
  • A blank wall or large sheet of paper

Steps:

  • Allow your child to pick several objects that can cast interesting shadows.
  • On a sunny day or in a darkened room with a flashlight, position the objects between the light source and the wall or paper.
  • Move the objects closer to or farther from the light to see how their shadows change. Arrange them in different sequences to create various shadow patterns.
  • Talk about how the shadows look and why they change size and shape.

Learning Outcomes: This activity introduces basic concepts of light and shadow while engaging children in pattern activities for children. It encourages experimentation and observation, key skills in scientific thinking, and pattern recognition.

9. Roll Dice and Use the Numbers to Create a Pattern Sequence

Dice rolled for pattern creation
Source: @missgiraffesclass.blogspot.com

Materials Needed:

  • A pair of dice
  • Paper and pencil (optional)

Steps:

  • Start by rolling the dice and recording the numbers.
  • Look for sequences in the numbers rolled, such as even numbers, odd numbers, or increasing values.
  • Continue rolling the dice and adding to the sequence based on the established pattern.
  • Once you have a long sequence, review it with your child and discuss the patterns you see.

Learning Outcomes: This activity helps enhance numerical understanding and pattern recognition, making it a valuable part of pattern making activities. It also introduces basic statistics and probability concepts in a fun and accessible way.

10. Popsicle Stick Patterns

Popsicle pattern
Source: @aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au

Materials Needed:

  • Colored Popsicle sticks
  • Glue (optional for permanent creations)

Steps:

  • Start by color sorting the Popsicle sticks.
  • Lay out a pattern sequence, such as red, blue, green, red, blue, green.
  • Encourage your child to continue the pattern or start a new one. They can also build shapes or structures following a patterned design.

Learning Outcomes: Crafting with Popsicle sticks helps develop fine motor skills and color recognition. It’s an effective method for teaching patterns to preschoolers, fostering both creativity and logical thinking.

11. Colorful Bead Patterns

Colorful beads
Source: @dreamstime.com

Materials Needed:

  • A variety of colorful beads
  • String or pipe cleaners
  • Scissors (use with adult supervision)

Steps:

  • Cut the string into pieces about 24 inches long, or use pipe cleaners for easier handling by small hands.
  • Show your child how to create a simple pattern on the string or pipe cleaner, such as red, blue, red, and blue.
  • Encourage your child to continue or create a new pattern using different colors.
  • As they work, discuss the patterns they are creating. Ask questions like, “What color comes next?” or “How many red beads do you have?”
  • Once the string is filled, tie the ends to make a bracelet or a necklace.

Learning Outcomes: Children will enhance their ability to recognize and predict sequences, which is crucial for early math skills. This activity also aids in developing fine motor skills and encourages creativity, making it a perfect example of fun pattern activities that support growth in multiple areas.

12. ABC Patterns

ABC pattern train

Materials Needed:

  • Colored paper or cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons
  • Glue or tape

Steps:

  • Cut out train car shapes from the colored paper or cardstock. You’ll need one car for each letter you plan to include in the pattern.
  • Use markers or crayons to write a letter on each car. Start with ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’, and continue the sequence depending on how long you want the train to be.
  • Encourage your child to decorate each car according to a repeating color pattern (e.g., red for ‘A’, blue for ‘B’, green for ‘C’, and then repeat).
  • Arrange the cars in order and glue or tape them together to form a train. Make sure the sequence is correct and the pattern repeats accurately.

Learning Outcomes: Children will enhance their ability to recognize and predict sequences in alphabetic order, crucial for reading readiness. The activity promotes color recognition and fine motor skills as children cut, color, and assemble the train. 

Related Reading: Best Color Activities for Preschoolers

Conclusion

Engaging in pattern activities for preschoolers is not only fun but also foundational to developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. By incorporating these creative and educational exercises, you can help young learners establish a strong base for future learning adventures.

Related Reading: Best Number Activities for Preschoolers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you teach preschoolers patterns?

Teaching preschoolers patterns involves showing them repeated sequences in objects, sounds, or actions and encouraging them to recognize, replicate, and create their own patterns. Start with simple sequences using colors or shapes and gradually introduce more complexity.

What is the pattern activity?

A pattern activity is any exercise or game that requires identifying, following, or creating a sequence based on specific rules. These activities can include arranging objects, coloring, drawing, or moving in ways that repeat and establish a predictable order.

What are the benefits of pattern activities for preschoolers?

Pattern activities for preschoolers enhance cognitive development by improving their ability to recognize and predict sequences, which is crucial for math and language skills. These activities also foster problem-solving abilities and help develop fine motor skills and logical thinking.

What is an example of pattern recognition for kids?

An example of pattern recognition for kids could be a simple activity where children sort colored blocks into a sequence of red, blue, red, blue. This activity helps them recognize and predict the color that comes next, building their ability to identify patterns in everyday objects and actions.

AUTHOR
Brian Lee
Brian Lee is a writer and parent of 3 spirited children. He loves writing about his parenting experience, the lessons his kids teach him every day and parenting hacks and tricks he’s picked up along the way.