If you haven’t seen on Instagram, my family is counting down the days to our Disney World vacation! This is our first time, and my kids are just a little bit excited. 😉 To help use their excitement to learn and explore important math concepts, we’ve been having a “Disney Math” lesson each week! (If you missed last week, check out our math countdown to Disney!).
This week, to build on our triangles lesson from “The Greedy Triangle,” we pulled out the pattern blocks to create and explore more shapes, as well as counting and addition strategies! It was a HUGE hit!
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We have a really wonderful set of wooden pattern blocks, and my kids love to play and build with them, so they were beyond excited to get them out for math. We took some time before starting just to look at the different shapes and compare them and review the names. They were familiar with all but trapezoid.
Then we were able to talk about how some of the shapes can be used to create the others. For example, they saw that two trapezoids can form a hexagon. Or six triangles. And so on.
Then I explained the challenge of the day. Using any of the pattern blocks, in any way they would like, they were to try and create Cinderella’s Castle on their paper. Once they were finished, we counted or added the total number of each pattern block used to create their castle and recorded it on the bottom of the page.
I laminated the pages for durability and for multiple uses. I wanted them to be able to try different combinations of shapes and really get creative with their designs (plus I knew my 4 year old who is the most excited about going to Cinderella’s Castle would want to do it too), so laminating allowed us to erase and start again.
Here’s one example of a castle that I thought was pretty impressive, not that I’m biased or anything. 😉 So with my daughter,if you notice some of the patterns she created, we were able to use a variety of counting and skip counting techniques, as well as some addition strategies to find the total number of each pattern block. My son just practiced counting one by one!
And even though this may seem a little girly, my son absolutely LOVES playing with and using the pattern blocks to create anything and everything, so it didn’t even bother him that we were building a princess castle. 🙂
If you would like this Pattern Block page, you can download it FREE below! And just in case you have a different shape block set that doesn’t have the exact same pieces, a blank page is included as well. You could just let your kids record their answers at the bottom or on another piece of paper.
Do your kids enjoy using pattern blocks to create and explore? What are some of their favorite ways to use and play with them?
Looking for more fun ways to play and explore with pattern blocks? Check out my ebook full of hands on logic puzzles!