Outer space has always been one of my favorite themes in the classroom! This outer space preschool pattern and sort activity is out of this world.
Our outer space preschool pattern and sort activity is a two-for-one
Who doesn’t love a buy one get one free, a two for the price of one, a BOGO?
It’s even better when the whole thing is free.
Our free printable can be used in 2+ ways and is loaded with mathematical learning for young students. Simply print off, cut out, and go!
Related: Our GIANT outer space coloring banner will rock-et your world!
Kids love this outer space preschool pattern and sort activity
One of my favorite things about kids is how they love helping adults prep and set things up. When I ask for a volunteer to help with XYZ, all the hands fly up!
For this activity, all of the cards need to be sorted before they can be patterned, and it’s an excellent opportunity for kids to help you prep and sneak in additional learning.
And because it’s just printed paper, you can throw the pieces in a baggie when done and repeat whenever you want.
Looking for more outer space activities? These will put a smile on your space:
- Galaxy Chalk Pastel Art Project – Projects with Kids
- Space Craft: Marbled Planets – Marbled Planet Art
- Foil Printed Moon Craft – A Dab of Glue Will Do
Friends Art Lab is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
- FREE printable (below)
At a glance: cut, sort, and pattern.
Cut: Begin by printing and cutting out the cards. In the free download, there are 10 designs included: planet, rocket, Earth, telescope, moon, satellite, Sun, meteor, astronaut, and stars.
Sort: Once all the cards are cut out, place them in a big, mixed-up pile and invite your child to sort them out. For example, all the Earth cards will be stacked together, all the meteor cards will be stacked together, etc.
This is EXCELLENT math practice! Sorting items by attribute and matching like items is an essential skill for patterning and many other math skills.
An adult could sort these on their own, but inviting your child to do it makes the activity last longer and have more mathematical depth.
Pattern: Now that all the pieces are separated, it’s time to pattern. Begin a pattern (ex: satellite, moon, satellite, moon…) and invite your child to continue it. As your child masters a pattern type, increase the difficulty and introduce new patterns. Once they’re a master, ask them to create their own patterns, too!
Why I love vertical patterning
Usually, when we pattern with kids, we work from left to right (just like how we read!). We line objects up from left to right, and kids continue the pattern in the same direction.
However, vertical patterning (working from top to bottom) is also how we read, but it makes it feel different than “normal” patterning, and it’s extra fun. It’s the same concept, just presented with a minor tweak.
We do a lot of patterning in our Virtual Preschool and always try to keep it fresh with vertical and horizontal patterns.
To learn more about patterning, its place in the mathematical field, and how to teach different levels of patterning, check out this wonderful post.
Speaking of reading, this math activity ALSO has a reading skill in it
And it’s called “directionality.”
When we read in English, we read from top to bottom and from left to right. So patterning generally follows the same rule where kids work in the same direction as when they read.
To compare, Hebrew and Arabic are read from right to left. Some languages are read from bottom to top, too!
Fun fact: when I lived in Boise, I worked with many kids and families who spoke Arabic, and I adjusted how I taught directionality concepts to those students. As an English speaker, this was new to me, and I loved observing how different languages work!
How do you teach kids about outer space?
Outer space can be a very abstract concept for young children, but it’s still fun to learn about.
To make space something that makes more sense to them, focus on what they can actually see and interact with.
Encourage them to observe the moon and stars, read books with photos of outer space, investigate rocks, dirt, and plants, learn about water, explore gravity, etc.
It depends on the child, but we introduce and do a lot of patterning with our 3-6 year old preschoolers.
I have an Epson printer and it’s the BEST EVER.
Absolutely! Laminating will increase the durability + longevity of the cards.
In just a few “moon-utes” you can start the outer space preschool pattern and sort activity!
Just cut, sort, and pattern and your little astronauts will be ready for all kinds of mathematical fun.
I hope you love this just as much as we do!