Christmas Present Patterning

Patterning is an important skill for preschoolers…it helps their cognitive development by encouraging them to visually discriminate the differences between 2 (or more) objects, order them according to a pattern, and predict what will come next.

Even though we typically think of making patterns with colors, patterns can also be made with shapes and sizes as well. We did a “colors” pattern as well as a “size” pattern.

What better way to practice patterning than presents! We used the tiny presents from our Advent Boxes as well as some larger ones I picked up from the dollar store. You could even wrap small boxes with 2 different types of wrapping paper you have at home and let your little one make a pattern!

1. Sort the objects. We were using “little” and “big” presents to make our pattern, so we sorted the presents into 2 corresponding piles.

2. I started the pattern off, saying “big”, “little”, “big”, “little” as I went and then asked Big Brother to predict what would come next…big or little?

We changed it up:  Little, Little, Big.

And then we had JUST enough of the tiny presents to make a pattern using colors (silver and purple).

Big Brother found these pom-poms in the heap of rubble in my office and begged to make a pattern. I happily obliged.

Have fun making patterns with your child! You can use just about anything!!!


  1. What a great activity! As a former first grade teacher, I'm always on the look-out for ways to incorporate math into my 4 year old twins day. This is perfect! I just discovered your website from a link on No Time For Flashcards and have it bookmarked! Thanks for your great ideas! :)

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