Patterns are all around us! Look closely and you will find patterns in song, dance, poetry, art, buildings, nature, and numbers. Patterns repeat in a regular way — once you recognize a pattern structure, you can predict what comes next! Our fun pattern games invite children to playfully create, copy, extend, fix, and transfer patterns.
Learn more about patterns and our pattern games by clicking on the links below. And, be sure to visit our Pattern Block Puzzle Games page for more fun games that teach children shapes and patterns.
WHAT’S THE MATH?
DIRECTIONS FOR GAMES AT SCHOOL
DIRECTIONS FOR GAMES AT HOME
GAME MATERIALS AND PATTERN PRINTABLES
ARTICLES ABOUT PATTERNS
Now Read This! Pattern Books by Jessica Mercer Young and Kristen E. Reed in Teaching Young Children (December 2017/January 2018, Vol. 11, No. 2)
Play Games, Learn Math! Playing with Patterns by Kristen E. Reed and Jessica Mercer Young in Teaching Young Children (December 2017/January 2018, Vol. 11, No. 2)
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: PRESCHOOL MATH LOOK FOR’S
SUGGESTED BOOKS TO READ
A-B-A-B-A-A Book of Pattern Play by Brian P. Cleary
This book helps children understand what a pattern is using fun, rhyming text and lots of visual illustrations. The end of the book includes skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s — a math concept that children will dive into during kindergarten.
Pattern Bugs by Trudy Harris
This fun book emphasizes patterns through repeated words and sounds, and these are complemented by repeating patterns in the illustrations and along the border of the book pages. There are many color, shape, size, and number patterns that children will enjoy identifying on each page. You can challenge children to name the pattern (e.g., AB or AAB) as soon as they recognize it!
Patterns (Math Counts) by Henry Pluckrose
This is a great book to get children thinking about the patterns they see in the world around them. Each page has a picture of a different pattern found in the world!
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
This fun book and song can be used to teach patterns, counting backwards, knowing what number is “one less,” and cardinality. For patterns, point out the words of the song that repeat and see if children know what is changing — there is one less monkey jumping on the bed each time (this is called a shrinking pattern). You can also have children act out the book by having five children pretend to be the monkeys and one person pretend to be the mama. By acting it out, children will see how the number of monkeys (children) decreases by one each time the pattern (verse of the song) repeats.