Using Pattern Blocks to Increase Engagement in Your Classroom

Using Pattern Blocks to Increase Engagement in Your Classroom

Using pattern blocks in the classroom is an engaging and fun way to help children learn basic skills such as shape recognition, fine motor skills, and problem-solving. Pattern blocks are colorful geometrical shapes used in small groups or with the whole class. This great way to spark motivation and creativity encourages students to think outside the box while having fun in a hands-on learning environment.

What Are Pattern Blocks? 

Pattern blocks are small geometric shape blocks. Typically, six geometric shapes are included in pattern blocks: yellow hexagon, red trapezoid, equilateral green triangle, blue rhombus, orange square, and a thinner tan rhombus or diamond shape. These shapes all have the same length of sides, except for the trapezoid, so you and your students can explore putting all the shapes together to make new shapes and patterns. If you want more information on pattern blocks, what they look like, and how you can purchase them, follow this link to Amazon for pattern blocks for kids.

Pattern blocks are an excellent way to learn math, especially for young children. These blocks come in different colors and shapes, making them ideal for visual learners. They’re often used in a classroom as part of the math center, where kids can explore their creativity and develop cognitive skills.

One of the best things about pattern blocks is that they can be used to teach various concepts. Children can use them to learn about shapes, symmetry, fractions, etc. By playing with these blocks, they’ll develop spatial reasoning skills and improve their problem-solving abilities.

Another great feature of pattern blocks is that they’re fun! Kids love playing with colorful toys, so incorporating pattern blocks into math lessons can make learning feel like playtime. They’ll be more engaged and motivated to explore new ideas while having fun with these versatile toys.

Why Should I Use Pattern Blocks In My Classroom?

Besides being fun for students and teachers alike, pattern blocks are engaging for educational purposes. Pattern blocks allow students to explore shapes in a fun way and apply them to many different math topics. You can use this manipulative to count, sort, and make patterns with the youngest learners. For a little bit older students, this tool is excellent for learning about different shapes, symmetry, congruence, perimeter, and area.

Students quickly learn how pattern blocks can make exciting and creative shapes, patterns, and designs. They are a great manipulative for many math lessons, but they are excellent for playing with during free time or indoor recess. The bright colors, different shapes, and endless possibilities for design and creativity are a draw for students of all ages.

What Are the Materials Needed?

Pattern blocks are a great way to introduce young students to geometry concepts and develop their spatial reasoning skills. These colorful and versatile blocks can be used for multiple activities in the classroom, from building complex designs to creating symmetrical patterns. You will need a few basic materials to get started with pattern blocks.

Firstly, you will need a set of pattern blocks which typically includes six shapes – hexagon, trapezoid, square, rhombus, triangle, and parallelogram. Depending on your preference, these blocks can be made of wood or plastic, but wooden ones are more durable in the long run. Consider purchasing multiple sets, so each student has their own set of blocks to work with during class.

Secondly, an interactive whiteboard is an excellent tool for teaching patterns and geometry concepts using pattern blocks.

Check out my pattern block activities on TpT!

November Pattern Block

How Can I Use Pattern Blocks In My Classroom? 

Pattern blocks are one of the student’s favorite math manipulatives that a teacher can have in their classroom. They are colorful, versatile, and engaging for students of all ages. There are so many ways to use pattern blocks in the classroom that they quickly become a favorite math manipulative for teachers and students alike.

One way to use pattern blocks is as an introduction to geometry concepts such as shape identification, symmetry, and unity. By allowing students to explore these shapes and manipulate them independently, they gain a deeper understanding of geometric concepts that will serve them well throughout their academic careers. Another fun activity with pattern blocks is designing tessellations or creating mosaic art with different shapes. This helps foster creativity while also honing critical thinking skills as students work to determine how the pieces fit together.

These pattern blocks are so versatile that you can use them beginning in preschool and use them all the way up through elementary school.

Pattern Blocks For Pre-K through 2nd Grade

Pattern blocks are a popular educational tool for children from pre-K through 2nd grade in block centers. These colorful geometric shapes help young children develop problem-solving skills and enhance their learning. Pattern blocks can be used in various ways, from free play to structured activities that encourage critical thinking and creativity.

One of the benefits of using pattern blocks in block centers is that they are versatile and can be adapted to suit different skill levels. For younger children, simply allowing them to explore the shapes and colors independently can help improve motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial reasoning. More complex tasks, such as creating patterns or designs using specific shapes or practicing math concepts like fractions and symmetry, can be introduced as students progress.

Pattern blocks also provide opportunities for social interaction as children work together to solve problems or create designs collaboratively.

Encourage these youngest learners to sort the pattern blocks by shape, size, and color. Then ask them to combine shapes into new shapes. This activity can be fun to break into teams. One teammate may be responsible for all of one shape to see how many new shapes their one shape can make. Encourage students to design and build new shapes and see if they can create shapes they see in nature or the world around them. You might see ideas like flowers, trees, houses, or even people.

If you’re looking for a place to start with your pattern blocks, I can help you. I have monthly pattern block shapes puzzles for your students to explore. Each packet has pictures you print onto paper. From there, your students need to figure out how their shapes can fit inside the outline of the picture to duplicate the shape on the picture. It is a fun puzzle activity your students will love!

Pattern Blocks For 3rd-5th Grade

Pattern blocks are a fantastic teaching tool that can make upper elementary math lessons on fractions more engaging and fun. These geometric shapes come in six different sizes and colors, making them perfect for introducing students to concepts like equivalent fractions, decimals, and percentages.

One of the best things about pattern blocks is their versatility. They can be used in various ways to teach different math skills. For example, have students sort the blocks by shape or color as an introduction to geometry. Or you could use them to model fraction problems, such as dividing a hexagon into thirds or adding two triangles together to create a parallelogram.

Another great thing about pattern blocks is that they encourage problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. By manipulating the shapes and working through different scenarios, students learn how to approach complex problems with creativity and confidence.

Use pattern blocks to define two-dimensional shapes and to create new two-dimensional shapes. Once the shapes have been made, students can practice collecting data like perimeter and area on their shapes. Shapes created with pattern blocks can be redesigned so your students can see how perimeter and area can change even when using the same number and shape of pattern blocks.

These pattern blocks are also an excellent tool when introducing fractions to students. The shapes are designed so that you can quickly identify halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, and sixths with the provided shapes.

Your upper elementary students will enjoy pattern block shapes puzzles for fun and a challenge to review their math skills. You can add to the resource I’ve developed and encourage your students to find the perimeter and area once they have completed the pattern block shapes puzzles.

How Do You Store Your Pattern Blocks In Your Classroom? 

Finding the perfect resource can be quite challenging when storing small items like pattern blocks in a classroom. Teachers need to ensure that their storage solution is functional and easy to use and access. Luckily, various options are available today, from simple plastic bags to stackable containers.

One excellent option for storing pattern blocks is clear plastic containers with lids. These containers come in different sizes, making them perfect for classrooms of all sizes. They are also transparent, allowing students and teachers to easily see what’s inside without having to open each container.

Another excellent option for storing pattern blocks is using zippered bags or pouches made from durable materials such as nylon or canvas. These bags come in different sizes and colors, making them ideal for organizing your pattern blocks by color or shape. I have even seen some teachers store a few sets of shapes in these individual bags for each student. This is a huge help when wanting your students to avoid spreading germs.


Pattern blocks are fun for kids of all ages, teachers included. You can incorporate them into many lessons for your elementary-aged learners or let them be available for your students to create and design their patterns during free time or indoor recess. These pattern blocks are great for counting, sorting, and making patterns with young learners. These blocks are excellent for studying fractions, symmetry, perimeter, and area with older students. You can’t lose with these pattern blocks! Let me know how you use pattern blocks in your classroom and what your students have loved to create with them!

Check out some of my other Math Blogs…

The Great Math Facts Debate: Should You Be Teaching Math Facts?

Make Math Center Rotations A Favorite Time Of The Day

How to Effectively Use Digital Math Centers In Your Classroom

Do you want to shop my TpT store for some math activities?

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