Learning Patterns with Blocks

Math & 123sPreschoolers7 Comments

Henry loves to pattern. Once he began learning patterns, he calls them out all the time. Everything seems to have a pattern, I swear!

But… I noticed something. Henry only knows how to pattern with colors.

Maybe he did know how to do it other ways… which I now know that he now does. But he had never once pointed out a pattern that wasn’t color based.

We had the Bristle Blocks (affiliate link) out for play. And Henry put together a simple ABAB pattern (orange blue orange blue) with the blocks lined up.

I set up the beginning of an ABCABC pattern for him to try… also in colors. He nailed that.


Then we began to look at the blocks in different ways. They’re not just different colors. They’re also different shapes, different sizes… even different heights.

So we played around a little with it.

I set up him a couple different scenarios for learning patterns to see if he could complete the patterns when they weren’t based on color.

Learning Patterns with Blocks

Henry tackled those patterns too without a problem. At first I had to give him a hint as to what I was patterning… but within a couple of set ups, he could figure them all out himself.

We patterned by shape of block (square square triangle square square triangle) or even size of block (long short long short) as well as skinny wide skinny wide.

And we did a variety of ABAB or ABCABC patterns, as well as AABAAB or AABBAABB kind of things. Whatever I could think of pretty much, and trying to push him just a little.


Then the pattern activity took a turn.

A turn that I love to see.

Henry began starting patterns himself. And quite frankly, they were more difficult than what I was coming up with!

This one he did was short tall tall tall tall, an ABBBBABBBB pattern. I loved that he looked at the height of the blocks and even came up with substitutes when he ran out of the type of block he first started with. The substitutes had the same properties that he was patterning with (the height).

Learning Patterns with Blocks

Its so fun when Henry gets it and takes hold of the activity himself. There’s no better learning than teaching it, right? Henry has a knack for that, and it makes a proud mom.

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    • says

      Thanks Erin. I never had these growing up, or even knew about them. My in laws had them at their house and that was the first I’d ever seen them. We now have a couple sets that the kids play with regularly! LOVE them for building and all sorts of things like this!

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