What is a math work mat my preschooler can use with pattern blocks?
I am so excited to be starting a brand new series all about pattern blocks. Before I became a preschool teacher, I knew that I wanted pattern blocks in my preschool classroom. So, the summer before preschool began, I dutifully bought pattern blocks because I knew they were perfect for math activities for preschoolers. Well, the kids certainly enjoyed them a lot at first, but after a little while, they just got bored with them. Luckily, when kids get bored, I get creative.
For the next several weeks, I will be sharing lots of pattern block math mats, pattern blocks templates, and plenty of ideas for how to use pattern blocks. Pattern blocks really are great for math activities for pre-k and throughout this series, you will see how many different ways you can use them.
The first activity in this series is a pre-addition pattern block game. Start by printing off the Pattern Block Pre-Addition activity sheet. I highly suggest laminated (or covering in contact paper) so that you can use dry erase markers on it.
Start with the activity sheet facing down. Pull out the pattern blocks and have your preschooler choose two shapes. I had Little Bear put the two shapes on the back of the activity sheet, then I picked out a few more of each shape (there were 3 diamonds and 2 hexagons).
Next, I had Little Bear count all of the diamonds. He wrote the number of diamonds right under the diamonds. He then counted all of the hexagons and wrote that number below the hexagons. I then had him count how many shapes there were total. He wrote the total at the bottom. We did that a few times until he got the concept down.
Little Bear was now ready to turn the activity sheet over with the front side up. I told him again to choose two shapes. He put the shapes in the middle of the activity sheet. He chose the trapezoid to be first, then he rolled some dice to see how many trapezoids should be on the mat. He rolled a one so he didn’t need any more trapezoids. He then rolled the dice for the hexagon. He rolled a 5, so he added 4 more hexagons to the math mat.
Again, I had him count how many of each shape there was, but this time he recorded the number on the chart on the left side. He then counted the total number of shapes and he recorded the total in the bottom right corner.
This is a wonderful math activity for preschoolers because it deals with addition, but not in the traditional sense. It is a pre-addition activity. Little Bear really likes this math mat because he gets to roll dice (always a favorite) plus he gets to play with pattern blocks! Little does he know that I am getting him ready for all the adding he’ll be doing in Kindergarten. :)
*Want to see more themed activities like this for toddlers or preschoolers? Check out our store page where our toddler and preschool series are compiled into Activity Packs for only $1.99! The Activity Packs are full of lesson plans, printables, and a curriculum guide.