A while back I asked my 9 year old to start at 2 and skip count by three’s.

Her answer: “You can’t do that!”

Face palm.

Somehow, this little girl who was so good at math, had missed the concept of number patterns. Then, when we were playing with LEGO® a couple days ago, I made a complex pattern with the blocks and asked her to continue it. She was totally confused. I knew we needed to do some serious pattern building.

#### Materials for the Apple Patterns Preschool Activity

• Paper
• Laminating Materials
• Paper Cutter
• Red, Green, Yellow Pom Poms
• Tape

I’m an advocate for school that’s not boring, so I made the girls these apple patterns which are so bright and fun to look at.

I did include matching apples in the file for you all to have, but we used pom poms in place of the additional apple cards. That makes it feel a lot less like work and a whole lot more like fun.

In fact I pulled the pattern strips out while we were doing some fun painting and Rissa opted to do them instead of painting.

These patterns are longer and more complex than the patterns included in my Pre-k and Kindergarten packs. They have 4-6 elements in the pattern to require the kids to think deeper when they are completing them.

Picture patterns are the building blocks of mathematical understanding, so they are not busy work. They are just as important as learning how to count or learning multiplication facts.

Once she gets the hang of doing more complex picture patterns we will move on to numerical patterns. And from there the sky is the limit (or not if she decides to become an astronaut!)

To store them, you can put all the strips in a big clip and hang them on the wall.

There are detailed instructions on how to put the pattern strips together in the file, but I’ll give you the low-down.

Here’s one of the patterns (there are a total of ten.) Cut them out on the dotted lines, which means you will have 3 strips of paper. Tape the ‘tape here’ tab of the first section underneath the first apple on the second section. Then repeat to add the third piece.

If you want (I did), you can cut out the small apple pattern at the top and tape it to the back of the pattern strip, so that the student can check her work by flipping the pattern strip over when she’s done.

I hope that you and your students enjoy using this as much as we did!

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## Free Winter Printable Pattern Mats for Kindergarten

Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion.

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