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.
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.
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.
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.
B really surprised me by doing a more complicated pattern on her snake. She used three tubes of each color.
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.
"A" double checks her snake to make sure she has the correct pattern.
When the girls were done stringing the tubes, they glued on sequin eyes and a red felt tongue. Here are our finished pattern snakes.
After what seemed like forever, the glue had dried and the kids were able to play with their pattern snakes.
A and B with the first of many "snake races" around the house.