My children love pattern blocks. Absolutely love them. Years ago I bought our first set and quickly learned that these were going to become an essential toy in our love of learning home. if you’re looking for something to promote logical thinking…They promote logical thinking, cultivate pattern recognition and they help to prepare the mind for future mathematical thinking.
Like any new brain game, this resource is best unlocked in stages: building on pattern boards/sheets – building free form – building 3 dimensionally.
Most families will be happy to start with a set that seems much larger than they need and a few pattern boards. These pattern sheets/boards help to train the mind to see what is possible with the shapes, colors and patterns. Many vendors will sell a dozen or so boards and a small sample of “blocks”. Sadly, however, this is a problem as it will seriously limit how creative the kids can become by denying them an adequate stock of blocks.
When we were researching Snap Circuits for our oldest, everyone kept saying, “get the biggest set that you can afford – you will absolutely grow into it.” The same is true here with the pattern blocks. We discovered, the hard way, that it is not easy to match block colors when you mix sets, so buy multiple small sets at the same time or one very large set right away.
We have a whole stack of pattern cards/boards. Some we purchased, many we found free online. We printed them and then laminated them with heavy laminating pouches. We found some of our cards at Confessions Of A Homeschooler, Moms Have Questions Too, and Prekinders.
Pattern cards are wonderful for attracting the child to the activity. They unlock barriers in the mind and help the child see the blocks differently. Do know, however, that these cards/boards are just the beginning. If your child starts building off the board (1 or 3 dimensionally), that is a very good thing. The ultimate goal of pattern blocks is to teach children how to manipulate shapes and patterns.