These bear patterns for preschool are a hands-on way to practice an important early math skills. Be sure to check out the rest of my math activities for preschoolers for even more ideas.
You can incorporate the bear patterns into a preschool bear theme, a forest theme, or even a zoo theme. Of course, you can also add them to your everyday math activities. That’s where they tend to end up for me!
Use the bear pattern cards with colorful counting bear manipulatives, or any of your favorite colorful items. Either way, the preschoolers will get a kick out of practicing the concept of patterns with the free printable.
Related: Free Preschool Printables
Be sure to get your own copy of the bear patterns free printables at the bottom of this post. They’re easy to prep, so you can have them ready for your classroom very quickly.
Bear Patterns for Preschool
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.
These bear math patterns have been a hit year after year, so I thought I’d share them with you! Your students might already be exploring with counting bears, so this is another activity to add to your math toolbox.
How to Prep the Bear Pattern Strips
As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t take much for the pattern bears to be ready to go. Start off by gathering your materials. I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Here’s what I used to get them ready:
You can use a paper cutter in place of scissors if that’s easier for you. And dry erase pockets can replace a laminator if that’s your preference. Be sure to grab some items as manipulatives, too:
Then it’s time to prep the bear patterns for preschool. All you need to do is print the document, cut the pages into individual strips, and laminate everything.
I like making each page into a long strip of bear patterns. To do this, simply tape each strip together before running it through the laminator.
Related: Number Train Printable
You can back each of the pattern cards with colorful construction paper if you want to. Or consider printing the patterns on cardstock. Whatever works best for you!
Now you’re ready for the kids.
How to Use the Bear Patterns for Preschool
Introduce, or re-introduce the concept of patterning to your students. I like to say, “a pattern is something that repeats over and over.”
Next, 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.
Related: Rainbow Rocks
After that, 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.
Related: Forest Animal Word Cards
How would you use these bear patterns for preschool math?
What Are the Kids Learning?
I know, the answer to this question seems pretty straight-forward, right?! But I thought it would be a good idea to delineate all of the learning these simple bear patterns provide:
- Color identification
- One-to-one correspondence
- Left-to-right progression
Not too shabby! Don’t forget to grab your own set of the bear patterns for preschool kiddos. You can do so at the bottom of this post.
More Bear Activities for Preschool
If your students are loving the bear pattern strips, I bet they’ll enjoy these other bear ideas:
- Teddy Bear Beginning Sounds Picnic from Growing Book by Book
- Feed the Bear Alphabet Activity from Fun Learning for Kids
- Bear Counters Name Recognition Activity from Play, Teach, Repeat
- The Dissolving Teddy Bears Preschool Science from The Preschool Toolbox
- Teddy Bear, Let’s Add to 10 from Capri +3
- Gummy Bear Science from Raising Lifelong Learners
- Teddy Bear Writing Activity for Kids from The Educators’ Spin On It
Pattern Activities for Preschoolers
Of course I had to share a few more pattern ideas for you to try with the kids:
- Movement Patterns Freebie from Fantastic Fun and Learning
- Flower Pattern Strips from Teaching Mama
- Color Pattern Cards from Stay at Home Educator
- Mosaic Pattern Art from Hands On As We Grow
- Fingerprint Patterns from Happy Toddler Playtime
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
Let Preschool Teacher 101 save you a ton of time with fully-developed resources! That way you can focus on teaching your students while you’re at work . . . and take a break during your personal time.
We have lesson plans, dramatic play packs, STEM challenges, circle time songs, digital games, literacy activities, planning resources, and much more! Click on the image below for our pattern pack:
We have even more math resources for you. Click on the images below for a few of them:
Join the waiting list for The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101 today. Members get exclusive access to our amazing products. And we even have different membership options to suit your needs!
Free Printable Bear Pattern Strips
The free printable bear patterns for preschool are available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re a member, fill out the form below and the download links will be sent to your inbox. If you’re not a member, you can join us by entering your information in the form. Then you’ll receive the printable as a welcome gift!
You can also access the bear patterns form in a new tab.
Originally published September 2015.