Play with Patterns

This week we’re working on patterns! 

Patterns are one of the core skills that your child will need for Kindergarten. These are the main types of patterns: 

  • ABAB 

  • ABB

  • AAB

  • ABC

  • AABB

Below are a few ways to practice patterns using color, type of object, size, and sound. With a little bit of creativity, anything can become a pattern and a chance to practice them!


Fruit loops, Skittles, M&Ms, and berries (for a less sugary option!) are all ideal for pattern forming. Have your child separate the food items into piles by color and line them up according to a color pattern of your liking. Another idea is to separate foods by types. Lining up strawberries and broccoli in a fruit - vegetable - fruit - vegetable arrangement opens up a discussion of what is a fruit and what is a vegetable. 


Legos are wonderful for pattern building, but there’s tons of other toys that work just as well! Toy cars, dolls, blocks… anything can become a pattern when arranged as such! This isn’t limited to the color of toys either; have them arrange the toys by size and shape too! Big car - small car -small car is an ABB pattern and a great way to talk about different sizes and words for size (large, big, small, tiny etc.).


If your child enjoys coloring, have them color using patterns. Can they color an ABAB pattern on the stripes of a coloring page? How about an ABBA pattern? 


Toy and real instruments alike are a wonderful way to form patterns. Have your child tap out different patterns with music sounds. Clapping and tapping works as well, and it’s always great fun to make your own instruments out of household items. Even the once-irritating sound of a child banging on pans could become a learning opportunity! 

I Spy

Once you start looking for them, patterns are everywhere! Have the world become your classroom by playing “I Spy” for patterns. Buildings that line up in order of big - small - small is a way of applying the knowledge of pattern to the real world. It's important to teach your child to apply what they learn outside of the classroom and home!