Learning and Playing with Pattern Block Designs

Pattern blocks are a classic and common resource found in early childhood classrooms as well as in elementary schools. You might remember using plastic pattern blocks as a child. There are also wooden pattern blocks and magnetic pattern blocks!

Teachers and parents use them across various subject areas and even when they are not used in a specific lesson plan, students love playing and learning with the colorful pieces.

Pattern block cards are a perfect tool to compliment your lesson plans and kids just love playing and designing with them!

Using Pattern Blocks with Preschoolers

  • Practice letters: form the letter shapes with the blocks
  • Practice numbers: use them for counting, adding and subtracting, fractions and more!
  • Make patterns: put patterns together and challenge kids to find what comes next
  • Learn about symmetry: encourage children to create designs that are symmetrical
  • Sorting shapes: kids can sort the blocks by shape or even by number of sides

Why Use Pattern Blocks in Your Learning?

Learn 2D Shapes

Each set comes with six shapes: an equilateral triangle, rhombus, narrow rhombus, trapezoid, hexagon and square.

Explore Symmetry

As students create flat lay designs, they will begin to notice how symmetry works. Add a small child-safe mirror to help explain this concept!

Strengthen Spatial Awareness

Pattern block picture cards are perfect for kids to develop spatial awareness. Once they begin to master this, they will be able to move on to completing a challenge card without laying blocks on the template.

Make Patterns

With six shapes to work with, the possibilities for AB and more complex patterns are endless!

Learn Fractions

These resources are great for an early introduction to fractions. Two trapezoids make a hexagon, three triangles make a trapezoid. Showing students the way the shapes fit together sets the stage for fraction work.

Lets Kids Relax & Be Creative!

Older kids and even adults enjoy playing with and designing with pattern blocks! It is relaxing creating different designs and kids love to show off their creations.

Alphabet Pattern Block Templates

We have some free pattern block templates that are perfect for children to learn and practice their alphabet! The printables help students assemble pattern block letters.

When they are done, they work on other letter skills and pre-reading practice such as letter tracing and beginning sounds. These pattern block mats come in lowercase and uppercase letters.

These colorful materials are fun on their own for creating and designing pictures. But there are so many ways they are used for learning! Because they are so versatile, they can be used for older students as well for activities such as complex patterning and fractions.

“Exactly what I was looking for.”

One of my stronger students partnered with a weaker student and taught him how to manipulate the blocks to help fit the designs on the cards. I love watching this kind of parallel learning and play.

STEM Pattern Block Printables

We have pattern block challenge cards that are perfect for STEM learning! Kids will love going through the pattern block STEM challenges presented and figuring out ways to use the blocks to complete the challenge on the card. Children will be working on engineering skills and be creative too!

A perfect addition for kids learning shapes, the dice gives kids a fun way to work on recognizing shapes and using counting skills. They will roll both dice and make a unique creation!

Animal Pattern Block Templates

You see pattern blocks in math all the time, but you can use them for almost any subject! Take these animal pattern block mats. They are perfect for a science lesson on animals.

They will love the bonus logic puzzle on each mat as well. Each mat challenges kids to use observation skills to spot differences in the animal pictures.

Pattern Block Sensory Activities

Looking for more learning fun? Throw those blocks in a bag for some sensory play! You just need clear hair gel for the filler. It is so easy to put together that your child will be able to participate as well.

Bonus tip: use nail polish remover to remove the logo and writing from the bag!

Moving the shapes around the bag provides a fun sensory experience as well as working on fine motor skills.

Ways Kids Can Use Pattern Blocks in a Sensory Bag

  • Sort shapes
  • Count the shapes
  • Use the bag as a calm down tool

author avatar
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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