1-2-3 Come Do Some Fun Pattern Block Activities With Me
Carley, from Idaho, asked me if I had any pattern block activities for her kinders. She was given 2 huge sets from retiring teachers and wondered what sorts of things she could do with them.
I only had one activity, a (Monthly Pattern Blocks On A Roll dice game packet) so I thought I'd design a few more. Three days and a zillion hours of work later, I came up with lots of fun pattern block FREEBIES!
So many, that this post is longer than I wanted, but I think you'll really enjoy some interestingly different pattern block goodies, as you kick back and relax a bit.
Pattern blocks are a wonderful manipulative for all sorts of activities, and introduce students to a few more geometric shapes, like the rhombus and trapezoid. My Y5's especially enjoyed lying on their tummies and making long lines of various patterns. (ABAB, ABBA, ABC-ABC etc.)
Not that we need anymore "to do" things added to an already overwhelming list, but as long as your kiddos are playing with pattern blocks, they might as well learn the names of them. This is easily done through repetition and simply allowing children to play with them.
Adding a few posters, so students can see the pattern block pictures through out the day, is an easy reminder of these new shapes. Click on the link to view/download the Pattern Block Poster.
I also made a set of Giant Pattern Block blackline templates. Simply run them off on the appropriate color of construction paper, laminate and trim. Punch a hole in the top and hang from the ceiling.
For a center on the floor, make 6 of each piece and have students pattern and make pictures with them. Suspend a trapezoid, hexagon, rhombus and triangle, in each one of the corners of your room and play 4-Corners at the end of a long day.
Another poster is a pattern block optical illusion. Do you think the trapezoid on the top is bigger? Chances are your students will think so, but it really isn't. Both pieces are the same size. Print and trim the pieces on a sheet of red construction paper to prove it to them. Click on the link to grab it.
I've also designed a set of pattern cards for your pocket chart, with a matching blackline booklet your kiddos can make.
There's also a set of Counting With Pattern Blocks, perfect for your pocket chart as well. I've included a blackline template so you can make worksheets, or use as a center.
Practice counting, sequencing, making groups, plus numbers and number words, with the Pattern Block Number Booklet.
Make a laminated booklet for your math center and have students use dry erase markers to fill in the information, or make a booklet for each child and have them work on a page a day. I've included a color + black & white cover if you'd like to do this activity.
If you have access to an Ellison Die Cut machine, they have a template for each pattern block shape. This is a quick way to make zillions of little pieces for all sorts of activities. I laminate my construction paper before hand, so my paper pieces last longer. I also make a bunch that are not laminated, so students can glue them to the above booklet, or on sentence strips to make various pattern combinations.
If you don't have access to an Ellison, I also found a blackline pattern block PDF on Pinterest. I don't like to directly link to a PDF, and would prefer to send you to that person's site, but there are no identifying credits printed on it. You could have a room helper cut them out for you and sort them into Baggies.
Want to play some games with pattern blocks? Click on the link for a variety of spinner and dice games using pattern blocks.
I also made Rack Up A Stack. Students roll the dice to see which pattern block they need to stack on their mat.
A second roll, tells them how many of that pattern block they need to stack. Stacks can get pretty high if they keep rolling the same number.
If their stack falls, children put only the spilled pieces back in the pile. Because my Y5's tended to be pretty clutzy, you may want to make a rule that children only have to put one or two spilled pieces back, and only those from the column that they are working on, just in case another stack tumbles because they accidently bumped it.
The child with the most pieces stacked in one pattern block column can be the winner, or the one with the most stacks, or the one with the most total number of pattern blocks stacked.
To practice addition, give students the point value card, so they can add up the points in each stack, as well as a grand total. I've made the easier-to-stack pieces worth only 1 point, for easy counting, as well as higher point values for pattern blocks that are more difficult to stack. I've purposely given these values of 2, 3 and 5 points, so that students can practice their skip counting skills.
There's a recording sheet for them to show their work. Click on the link to grab it. Rack Up A Stack: Pattern Block game.
Another game-like challenge, is to have students use the pattern blocks to see how many ways they can make a hexagon. I chose this shape because it's a standard for many, and often a "toughie" shape to remember for lots of kiddos. Click on the link for the Hexagon Challenge With Pattern Blocks packet.
With that in mind, I made Pattern Block Pals. (Blockheads!) I think they turned out pretty cute and hope you like them too.
There are blank pattern block "head" templates, so your students can draw on their own faces, ones with a traceable word on them, plus ones with sweet faces.
They look great as a boarder, bulletin board, or suspended from the ceiling against a hallway wall. As a writing extension, have students list things on the back of their blockhead that also have that shape. For example, on the back of a rhombus students could list kites, jewelry etc.
A caption for your display could be: "Mrs. Henderson's Kinders Are Really Shaping Up." or "So Many Patterns, So Little Time." or "Pupil Pattern Blockheads With Personality". Click on the link to view/download the Pattern Block Pals packet.
Pattern blocks are not just for younger children either. They are a wonderful way to explain fractions to students as well. While doing research, I found quite a few great YouTube videos, demonstrating fractions using pattern blocks. Click on the link to take a look.
I always do a bit of surfing to find out what's out there; (no sense in reinventing the wheel) I found some excellent pattern block resources and all of them are FREEBIES! Holly and Heather over at prekinders have over 20 free pattern block picture mats in full color, as well as black and white.
I especially like using a black and white template, because it not only saves on printer ink, but forces students to search for the shape and not just rely on finding the correct color. Note that they've included a caterpillar and butterfly in their packet; perfect for an independent center, if you're studying that life cycle.
I was really excited to find a complete set of FREE pattern block mats for upper & lowercase letters as well as numbers 1-10 over at Make Learning Fun. They too offer full color or black and white. Each link will take you to their respective sets.
If you don't have a set of colorful "real" pattern blocks (besides wooden, they now come in plastic and foam, as well as magnets) and would like to do some cut and paste activities with paper pattern block pieces, Make Learning Fun also has a separate, full-page template of trapezoids, rhombuses, triangles, hexagons and squares.
Click the black and white template of your choice, and simply run off on the appropriate color of construction paper. The link for their "Printable paper pattern blocks" appears after both the letter and number pattern block options.
Lory's 2nd Grade Page, also has some color as well as blackline "complete the pattern cards" + a really cute shape monster muncher game.
Unlike Make Learning Fun, you don't have to click on each individual letter, but just one download for each complete set. Because they are different from Make Learning Fun's sets, I have both, to add more variety to my centers.
She just completed a black and white set of pattern block letters as well. Click on that link if you want the blackline version.
Finally, if you do a solar system or space theme, you'll want to take a look at Learning Resources' 32-page FREEBIE, filled with pattern block skill-building activities and games.
Whew! That's a lot of fun with pattern blocks. Thanks for visiting today. As always, feel free to PIN away.
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson