Paper Pattern Snakes

I don't know about your kids, but my three year olds are really into patterns right now. They point out patterns everywhere. I thought I would take advantage of this new interest in math by incorporating some pattern activities into our play. Today, we decided to make some fun Paper Pattern Snakes. What I like about these pattern snakes is that the kids get to practice making patterns and then play with their creations. For an extension on these try our Patterned Bead Snakes.

Paper Patterned Snakes - A fun way for kids to learn about patterns and have a cool snake toy at the same time!

Supplies you will need:
making patterns

I cut my strips close to 2 inches wide and their length is just the standard width of a piece of construction paper. I wanted to give the kids plenty of options to choose from when making their patterns, so I used 4 colors. Then I just taped my strips together to make small tubes. If you have older kids you can have them do the taping or you can even use glue to turn your strips into tubes. 

colorful pattern making

I cut out about 2 feet of yarn per child. You can use more if you want a longer snake pattern. I then taped the yarn to the inside of a tube. This will be the last tube on the snake and the tape keeps all the other pieces from falling off. 

pattern making for kids

Before the kids starting stringing their snakes, I had them make a pattern with the tubes. B made a blue and purple pattern. I thought it would be easier to have the pattern set up already and just transfer that pattern to the yarn. She later changed her mind and decided not to use this pattern on her snake. 

paper pattern snakes

"A" starts stringing her patterned tubes on the yarn. STRETCH!

teaching patterns

B really surprised me by doing a more complicated pattern on her snake. She used three tubes of each color.

learning patterns

Even Little C got into the act. Her snake starts out looking like a pattern but that is just a coincidence. She has no idea what a pattern is and just randomly made her snake.

kids snake craft

"A" double checks her snake to make sure she has the correct pattern.

snake craft

When the girls were done stringing the tubes, they glued on sequin eyes and a red felt tongue.  Here are our finished pattern snakes.

paper patterned snakes

snakes for kids

After what seemed like forever, the glue had dried and the kids were able to play with their pattern snakes.

child playing with paper snake

A and B with the first of many "snake races" around the house.

pattern snakes

For more pattern activities check out:

     Fine Motor Patterns                    Popsicle Stick Patterns

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  1. What a terrific idea. Looks like more fun than a normal paper chain. I'll keep this idea on file for sure.

  2. This is a wonderful idea! I saw it on Pinterest this morning and pinned it. :) Thanks for sharing.

    Jen from
    Creative and Curious Kids!

  3. What fun for the kiddos. I think my daughter would love to be there.

  4. Aaah, what a great idea! I'm going to try these with my boys. Thanks for stopping by Feeding Four.

  5. Just stopping by to let you know that I featured your activity on my post today...

    Enjoy your evening!

  6. What a neat idea,a great hands on patterning activity!

  7. Hi Vicky, Stopping by for the first time and really enjoyed perusing many of your posts! I have twin daughters all grown up now and raising families. :)

    So nice to meet you!
    Kindly, Lorraine

  8. You have tons of good and creative ideas. I've been browsing your math posts and am very impressed. We like to supplement math with creative activities like this, but my kids are a few years older; 6, 9 and 11. Now I'm off to browse your other posts.