Patterns are an important mathematical concept. Kids need to have practice in recognizing basic shapes and colors so that they can get practice in identifying patterns in numbers, tables, and graphs in more advanced math. With a few simple manipulatives, your kids can be having a great time getting their hands engaged in pattern making.

I'm focusing on Math this week in my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning Stations series, and today is all about playing with patterns.

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Patterns with Counting Bears

Counting bears are a staple in a home school. A bucket of these will last forever, and they can be used for counting, sorting, or making beautiful patterns. Give your kids these cute little manipulatives and let them make their own patterns.

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Pattern Blocks

I love playing with pattern blocks myself. They are so pretty, and you can get really creative with them. My kids enjoy having a little inspiration at first, so I let them use these design cards. It doesn't take them long before they are designing on their own, and even making 3D designs.

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Spirograph & Mandalas

Do you remember playing with a Spirograph when you were a kid? These toys are still as fun today as they were when we were kids. A Spirograph combines geometric shapes with art. They create beautiful patterns that will inspire kids' imaginations.

Mandalas are a similar type of patterned shape. They reflect the shapes that the orbits of planets make in the sky. There is something very beautiful about repetition. Give your kids tools to create beautiful art of their own:

How do your kids like to play with patterns?

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Check out more hands-on learning stations inspiration in my 31+ Days of Hands-On Learning series! Here are some more math inspired ideas:

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