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Engaging Strategies for Teaching Repeating Patterns to K-2 Students

Patterns are everywhere, from the stripes on a zebra to the sequence of colours in a rainbow. Teaching repeating patterns to K-2 students during your math lessons fosters their understanding of foundational math concepts and enhances their observation skills and critical thinking abilities.


Here are some engaging strategies for educators to make learning about patterns a fun and interactive experience in the classroom:


Pattern Walks: Take your students on a pattern hunt around the classroom or school. Encourage them to identify patterns they see in everyday objects, such as tiles on the floor, books on the shelf, or shapes on the walls. This hands-on approach helps students recognize patterns in real-life contexts, making the concept more relatable.


Activities for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. Math Lessons, task cards and worksheets.

Pattern Blocks: Provide students with pattern blocks or counters of different shapes and colours. Allow them to explore and create their own repeating patterns using these objects. This tactile activity reinforces their understanding of patterns and promotes fine motor skills and spatial awareness.


Activities for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. Math Lessons, task cards and worksheets.

Pattern Songs and Chants: Integrate music and movement into pattern lessons by incorporating pattern songs or chants. Create simple melodies or rhymes that follow repeating patterns, such as "ABAB" or "ABCABC." Students can clap, stomp, or use rhythm instruments to reinforce the pattern sequence while having fun.


Activities for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. Math Lessons, task cards and worksheets.

Pattern Cards: Prepare sets of pattern cards with pictures, shapes, or colours arranged in different sequences. Encourage students to identify and extend the patterns by predicting what comes next. You can gradually increase the complexity of the patterns as students become more proficient, challenging them to identify and create more intricate sequences.


Activities for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. Math Lessons, task cards and worksheets.

Pattern Books: Incorporate pattern-themed books into your classroom library. Choose stories with repetitive elements or predictable sequences, such as "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. After reading the book together, discuss the patterns found in the text and illustrations.


Activities for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. Math Lessons, task cards and worksheets.

Pattern Games: Turn learning into a game with pattern-themed activities. Create pattern-matching games, puzzles, or board games where students must identify and continue the pattern to advance. Games provide a playful way for students to practice pattern recognition while reinforcing important math skills. Alternatively, try making beaded necklaces with wooden beads to create repeating patterns.


Activities for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. Math Lessons, task cards and worksheets.


Outdoor Patterns: Take advantage of outdoor spaces to explore patterns in nature. Look for repeating shapes in plants, trees, or even playground equipment. Students can collect natural objects like leaves or rocks to create their own outdoor patterns, fostering a connection between math and the environment.


Activities for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. Math Lessons, task cards and worksheets.


Educators can help K-2 students develop a strong foundation in recognising, extending, and creating repeating patterns by incorporating these creative and interactive strategies into the classroom. Making learning enjoyable and hands-on enhances student engagement and cultivates a lifelong appreciation for the beauty and logic of patterns in the world around us.


Explore our full range of Patterning activities here...



Repeating Patterning Activities for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. Math Lessons, task cards and worksheets.

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