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Family Math Activity: Craft Your Own Colorful Flags

family math activity pattern flags made of construction paper
We can find patterns everywhere! Even on flags from around the world. | Yesenia Prieto
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Esta actividad está disponible en español.

A pattern is a sequence of things in our world — like numbers, colors or shapes — that repeats over and over and follows a rule. Understanding patterns helps young children bring order, organization and predictability to their world and provide a foundation for algebraic thinking. In this activity, your child will practice identifying repeating patterns while creating paper flags.

In this activity, your child will practice identifying repeating patterns while creating paper flags.

Learning Goal

This activity will help your child:

  • Expand their understanding of simple, repeating patterns
  • Practice identifying, copying and creating patterns


family math activity pattern flags materials laid out on a table. markers, paper, scissors and glue stick
You need construction paper, markers, scissors and glue. | Yesenia Prieto

  • Construction paper in different colors
  • Marker or crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Take a few minutes to look at flags from countries all over the world (you can view flags here). After a few minutes ask your child, "What do you notice?" Give your child time to respond. Then continue the conversation by asking, "What kinds of shapes do you see? What colors? Do you see any patterns? Do you notice anything that repeats?"

2. Talk about how the flags are different and the same. For example, the U.S. flag goes red stripe, white stripe, red stripe, white stripe. Uruguay's flag goes blue stripe, white stripe, blue stripe, white stripe.

3. Next, pick a country's flag to create or come up with your own flag design! Get construction paper and begin drawing different shapes for your flag.

family math activity pattern flags. drawing shapes for the flag
Draw any shapes you'd like on your flag. | Yesenia Prieto

4. Cut out your shapes and make a pattern. For example, circle, square, circle, square. Ask your child, "Can you copy this pattern? What part repeats? That's right, it goes circle, square, circle, square."

family math activity pattern flag. cutting out shapes for the flag
You can cut out any shape you want for your flag. | Yesenia Prieto

5. Challenge your child to make more patterns. "Let's do more patterns! Can you make a pattern with colors? What about colors and shapes?"

family math activity pattern flag. assembly of the paper flags
Encourage your child to see the patterns in the cut out pieces of paper. | Yesenia Prieto

6. Use a large piece of construction paper as your paper flag. Glue your patterns to the construction paper. Finally, decorate your flag with crayons or markers.

Keep the Conversation Going

Create more paper flags to make a flag banner. Fold back the top edge of the flags and glue them on a string. Hang the flag banner along a wall. Invite friends and family to see how many flag patterns you can make! Use your flag pattern as a backdrop for all your pictures and play.

Book Suggestions

"Pattern Bugs" written by Trudy Harris and illustrated by Anne Canevari Green
Also available as a read aloud video.

"Pattern Bugs" written by Trudy Harris and illustrated by Anne Canevari Green
"Pattern Bugs" written by Trudy Harris and illustrated by Anne Canevari Green

Corresponding Standards

California Preschool Learning Foundations

Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework

Support Provided By
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