This easy-to-prep math activity is loaded with math learning and is an absolute blast! Our candy heart pattern cards are fun for all ages and FREE to download.
It’s time for some math with these candy heart pattern cards!
One of my favorite things about kids and math is how accessible math learning is in preschool. Math is everywhere in early childhood, from building with blocks to saying one’s age to putting together a puzzle – it’s everywhere.
Kids are naturally drawn to patterns, pointing out stripes in their clothing, lines on animals, or repeated colors in their environment. Patterns are enticing and captivating to young learners.
These adorable candy heart pattern cards are perfect for satiating young children’s thirst for patterns, hands-on learning, and fun!
Related: speaking of hands-on learning, have you seen our GIANT 10-foot coloring page banners? They’re the best of the best!
You can still use the candy heart pattern cards even if you don’t have the candies
While we love using these with candies, you can still enjoy them and the math fun without them, too.
Grab another supply or material with the same colors as candy hearts, including beads, pom poms, blocks, unifix cubes, and even stickers. As long as you have a collection of small manipulatives, you can still enjoy this project!
We love these pattern cards’ versatility and know your little mathematicians will love them.
Looking for more patterning activities for kids? Here are some great ones!
- Egg Carton Patterns – The Imagination Tree
- Patterned Caterpillar Craft – Classroom Creative
- Pattern Snakes – Busy Toddler
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- Candy heart pattern cards (below)
- Candy hearts – or other small manipulatives in the same colors
- Crayons – optional
- Mini tongs – optional, but OH, SO FUN & extra fine motor practice! 10/10 recommend for kids who could use an additional challenge.
Begin by cutting out the candy heart pattern cards.
Next, provide your child with candy hearts and invite them to create the pattern they see on the card, copying the candies on the card and then continuing the pattern on their own.
Once a pattern is completed, swap it out with another pattern card and continue working.
Note: inviting kids to complete the patterns using mini tongs is absolutely the best. They add a whole new layer of focus, concentration, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor goodness. Couldn’t recommend trying these more!
Not all patterns are created equally
Because we want every child to have an opportunity to be successful AND challenged, we have varying levels of difficulty in the packet.
- Page 1 (Easy): these are called “AB Patterns.” AB patterns use only two colors and alternate one after the other, such as pink, green, pink, green. For kids who are new to patterns, begin here. Once a child understands the AB pattern, move to the following levels.
- Page 2 (A Little Harder): these are called “ABC Patterns.” ABC patterns use three colors and alternate one after the other, such as purple, white, yellow, purple, white, yellow.
- Page 3 (Harder): these are a mix of AAB and ABB patterns. AAB patterns use two colors and alternate one after the other, such as pink, pink, yellow, pink, pink, yellow. ABB patterns also use two colors and alternate one after the other, such as orange, purple, purple, orange, purple, purple.
- Page 4 (Hardest): a mix of AABB, AABC, ABCD, ABAC, and ABCDEF patterns. These patterns are the trickiest ones!
- Page 5 (Open-Ended): blank patterns! Provide your child with crayons and invite them to create their own patterns. This is an excellent level for kids who have demonstrated an understanding of patterning.
Begin with Page 1 and work up once your child demonstrates understanding. Some kids will get it on the first introduction, whereas others will need several exposure opportunities before it clicks.
As with anything, meet your child wherever they are so that they’re able to be successful and confident with these practices. 💕
What type of math is patterning?
Oh, I’m so glad you asked!
In general, early childhood math can be divided into five categories:
- Number Sense
- Mathematical Reasoning
- Algebra and Functions
Any guess where patterning fits?
No peeking! Think about it first. Which of the five categories sounds most like it would encompass patterning?
Okay, you can look in 3…2…1…
Algebra and functions! The other part of this category is classification because to create a pattern, kids need to be able to distinguish similar and dissimilar objects. For example, they need to know that pink candy hearts aren’t the same as green candy hearts in order to be able to create a pattern with them.
So, when kids create patterns, they engage in algebraic skills.
Pretty cool, huh?
I printed these on cardstock, but copy paper would work just fine, too. If you think you’ll use these year after year, I’d laminate them if possible.
Use any other small manipulative such as beads, stickers, foam shapes, or pom poms.
We tell them not to eat the candies. 😉 If it’s the VERY first time we’re using the candies, we will allow the kids to eat a piece or two to take away the temptation, but after that we have clear and consistent boundaries.
All the heart eyes for candy heart pattern cards
They’re fun, overflowing with learning, FREE, and easy to use. We can’t wait to see how you use them.
And once you’re done, try some of our other candy heart activities like candy heart ice cubes, dancing candy hearts, or candy heart oobleck.
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