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.
This activity will help your child:
- Expand their understanding of simple, repeating patterns
- Practice identifying, copying and creating patterns
- Construction paper in different colors
- Marker or crayons
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.
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."
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?"
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.
California Preschool Learning Foundations
- Algebra and Functions 2.0: Children expand their understanding of simple, repeating patterns.
Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework