Kids love to hunt out patterns in everyday life...the veins in a leaf, the rings on a stump, the repeating designs in the wallpaper, the rock formations in their neighbors patio. It's something that creates some sort of order in their world. Because patterns are so prevalent in their lives, I think it's important that students see a good reason to make the patterns they are making. A great way to do that, is to instruct students to make a pattern, and have them use that pattern as a blueprint for a beading project. Just like an architect or a painter, there is much to plan out in order to execute the final product. This project gives kids a reason to make a pattern, and a product in which to appreciate their pattern! Plus, math is fun!
First, give each student a pattern sheet. If students are in Preschool or Kindergarten, use the first page. Simply click on the worksheet, and print the FREE PDF for your use! Students can create a whole page of patterns to pick their very best one, or you can cut the paper into thirds and have students create one pattern.
If students are ready to create specific patterns, give them this second sheet. Simply click on the image, and print out the FREE PDF for your use!
Once students have created and chosen the pattern they will use for their project, pass out the beads, and instruct students to create their beading project with the help of their pattern blueprint! My students created beaded necklaces for their moms, grandmas, or sisters for Valentine's Day. This would be so fun to do for Mother's Day, too. They simply repeated the pattern 3 times and the result was beautiful.
Other ideas: beaded keychains or wall hangings. If you look at the second photo, you will see the method I found for making beading projects with young children easier for everybody! Simply tape the end of the string to a small piece of cardboard. This allows students hands to be free and prevents beads from inadvertently falling off the end. I used recycled shipping boxes that were to be thrown out.
When finished, package up the completed projects in a simple brown paper gift bag with a colorful bow. Your students will be so proud to give someone they love their masterpiece! For some cool math picture books that deal with patterns, check out these two sites: