Learning to extend, “read”, and create patterns is an important early math skill. We do a TON of patterning activities in my pre-k class. My bear math patterns have been a hit year after year, so I thought I’d share them with you today! They’re wonderful for a teddy bear theme, or just an everyday math activity!
printable preschool math patterns
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With this activity, I wanted to introduce and explore the concept of patterns. I also wanted to touch on left-to-right progression and one-to-one correspondence.
Bear manipulatives (they can be found HERE and HERE)
Construction paper (optional)
Print out the math patterns, then cut into strips. Place some tape along the back to create long strips, or glue them together. Mounting them on construction paper is also an option.
Once the strips have been assembled, I suggest laminating them. I made my set soooo many years ago, so they’ve seen a lot of “action” and are still going strong thanks to lamination.
Explain the concept of patterns, if it hasn’t been discussed yet. I usually explain that “a pattern is something that repeats over and over.”
Grab the bear manipulatives and model how to use the pattern strips. Talk out loud as the activity progresses, making comments on the patterning process. Be sure to move left to right to show that progression. At the end, model how to go back and “read” the pattern – touch each bear and say the color, all the way to the end of the pattern.
Next, encourage the children to try out the activity. Sit back and observe as the children match colors and make patterns. Encourage the kids to move left to right, although some children might focus on placing all the bears of one color down first. Once the pattern is done, help the children “read” the colors, touching each bear one at a time. Some children might need help with that, of course!
For children who are more proficient at math patterns, encourage them to create their own bear patterns! They can even make their own patterning strips with crayons and paper. Those would great to keep in the math center, too.
How do you teach math patterns at home or in preschool? I think these patterning strips would also be great for kindergarten children who are working on the concept of patterns.
More bear-themed activities from the #TeachECE crew
Teddy Bear Beginning Sounds Picnic by Growing Book by Book
Feed the Bear Alphabet Activity by Mom Inspired Life
Bear Counters Name Recognition Activity by Munchkins and Moms
The Dissolving Teddy Bears: Simple Preschool Science! by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Let’s Add to Ten-Kinder and Pre-K Math activity by Capri + 3
Teddy Bear Preschool Theme Counting Activities by Learning 2 Walk
Gummy Bear Science | Exploring Osmosis with Preschoolers (with Free Printable Science Journal) by Raising Lifelong Learners
Teddy Bear Writing Activity for Kids with FREE Printable by The Educators’ Spin On It