My 2nd grader loves pattern activities. I mean LOVES them. She’s not satisfied with simple ones like using counting bears, which makes it super fun to teach patterns, too! Last week she was introduced to growing patterns and has been intrigued with this math skill ever since. So I created this hands-on activity to work on creating patterns and growing patterns. The Creating Growing Patterns with Nocturnal Animals Free Printable is easy to prep and allows you to differentiate and use the pattern cards to cater to the type of pattern or patterning skill you’re currently working on.
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Teaching Patterns to Preschoolers and Beyond
PATTERN ACTIVITIES FOR KINDERGARTEN AND PRIMARY GRADES
KIDS START TO EXPLORE BASIC PATTERN ACTIVITIES IN PRESCHOOL. THEY TYPICALLY PROGRESS TO GROWING PATTERN EXAMPLES AND COMPLETE THE PATTERN ACTIVITIES.
Recognizing patterns around us is often the first step toward understanding patterns. Once kids understand that a pattern is anything that repeats, it’s game ON!
Patterns can be so much fun to teach because they are everywhere: sound patterns, movement patterns, color patterns, and they just keep get more complex – patterns are awesome!
I love this nocturnal animals activity to teach an important math concept because not only are we exploring patterns, but it’s also an opportunity to learn about nocturnal animals for kids.
A growing pattern is a pattern that grows or expands. Instead of having the exact same pattern the entire way through, it changes slightly with each repetition. The “pattern” part is that it changes with the same variable every time.
A simple pattern might be:
But a growing pattern could be:
- A AB ABC ABCD ABCDE ABCDEF
- AB ABB ABBB ABBBB ABBBBB
What Can Preschoolers Learn While Working With Patterns?
GROWING PATTERNS WORKSHEETS
SINCE PATTERNS ARE ALL AROUND US, IN WEATHER AND SEASONS, NUMBERS AND LETTERS, THEY ARE VALUABLE TO LEARN.
Working on different types of patterns sharpens our brains and promotes other important skills:
- Visual discrimination/acuity
Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn About Patterns?
Children are naturally curious about everything around them. Learning to identify patterns in our world is an important step.
How to Make the Nocturnal Animals Pattern Activity
Print, laminate (optional), and cut the pattern cards.
You can print multiple copies if you want to make long patterns, but one pattern using all six cards filled up my dining room table length-wise, so one set can get you far!
Use the nocturnal animal cards to make a pattern on the table. Then, use a white crayon on black paper (not required but fits with nocturnal theme) to name the pattern with letters or numbers.
Younger kids will enjoy finding the nocturnal animal cards in the sensory bin. As they pull them out, they can begin to create a simple pattern.
Play With Theme
If you’re really into a nighttime theme, you can use the pattern cards in a dark space with a flashlight so you feel like a nocturnal animal.
Play a Game
Create a partner game where one person creates a pattern and the other person must identify and extend that pattern. Switch roles and repeat.