Working with pattern blocks is a great way to get your preschooler excited about math.
As far as math manipulatives go, they’ve been a favorite in our house for quite some time simply because they’re so versatile and can be used in so many different math activities.
Pattern blocks help your preschooler learn their shapes while introducing geometry, they encourage fine motor development at the same time as allowing your child to express themselves creatively as they create and build their own pattern block pictures.
The problem with them however, is that they’re small and, in a house with a preschooler and a toddler, easily lost.
Now, we’ll find these rogue pattern blocks, eventually. Usually they’re stuck inside someone’s laundry hamper or have been buried in the toy chest by a toddler who thought she’d save a few to play with later, but we often seem to run into the issue of finding an abundance of triangles and very few squares or we find that we have a surplus of hexagons but not enough trapezoids to actually make a picture.
Our solution? Make our own!
DIY Foam Pattern Blocks
These foam pattern blocks are so quick and easy to make and if one or two of them get lost, they’re easily replaced!
We’ve already used them to create a few fun bugs, a couple of trucks, and a rocket ship getting ready to blast off!
To make your own foam pattern blocks, you’ll need:
- A few sheets of colored craft foam
- A pen or marker
- The free printable pattern block templates (below)
Just print the template, cut out the shapes, and trace them onto your foam.
We used a different color of foam for each of our shapes but you could use a single color, mix it up, or stick with the traditional pattern block colors if you’d prefer.
When you’re happy with the number of blocks you have traced, just cut them out and start creating!