Looking for new ways to catch that mischievous leprechaun? This leprechaun pattern will lead that little man right into your leprechaun trap, all while fitting into your St. Patrick’s Day math preschool activities!
Patterning Activities for Preschool St. Patrick’s Day Math
The last pack of blueberries is staring straight at us.
“Moooommm, I’m hungry for a snack. I waaaaannt the blueberries.”
“I want the blueberries!” My two-year-old chimes in.
Okay, here we go. Half pack left. Two boys. Let’s make this work.
“Blueberry for Grey, Blueberry for Hayes, Blueberry for Grey, Blueberry for Hayes…” I actually say this aloud as they watch (attentively, of course) to make sure I do not accidentally skip a bowl.
Mom survival technique? Sure.
Is my two-year-old learning patterns?
You see, sometimes I nod my head, “yes! oh yes!” to the Kindergarten Common Core Standards, and other times my eyes squint in search of that essential skill that all preschoolers and Kindergartners need to understand.
Patterns are the foundation for reading, writing, and math.
The good news is that there are so many simple ways to sneak patterns in throughout your day.
And what beats a fun pattern path to gold left from the Leprechaun?
Now think back to your childhood.
Remember the excitement of finding the lettuce trail from the Easter Bunny or even the cookie crumbs left from Santa? Think of the fun it would be if that snarky Leprechaun paid a visit to your home on St. Patrick’s Day.
Now I know what you are thinking. As a mom of three boys under four, I cannot take on one more character set-up.
But hear me out. The Leprechaun doesn’t bring anything!
No candy, no sweets. Just flips a couple of chairs upside down, and leaves fun activities for your preschooler to take on for the day. Your preschooler will find it hysterical and it adds a change for the day. I am a SAHM and change can be SO needed. Especially when it is still cold outside.
This is definitely one of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities the leprechaun brings with him. And it’s a patterning activity, so it fits in nicely with my preschool lesson plans, too.
FAQ About Teaching Patterns in Preschool
Patterns can be anything that repeats in a logical way. For example, vertical stripes on someone’s sweater create a pattern. Patterns can be made up of anything, including numbers, images or shapes, as long as they follow a the ultimate patterning rule: that it is repetitive!
Learn all about patterning in this post: The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Positions and Patterns.
Patterns range in complexity, so in preschool and kindergarten, you’ll find the most success if you start with simple patterns and work your way up to longer, more complex patterns. Here is a good order to go by:
These patterns are all practiced in my Daily Lessons in Positions and Patterns Math Unit.
There are many different levels to teaching and learning pattern skills, here’s the developmental sequence for teaching patterning skills to your Preschool or Pre-K students.
~ Stage 1: Recognize a pattern
~ Stage 2: Describe a pattern
~ Stage 3: Copy a pattern
~ Stage 4: Extend a pattern
~ Stage 5: Create a pattern
I would so add that a sixth stage could be created: Filling in a missing pattern pieces.
More About Patterning
Leprechaun Pattern Path for St. Patrick’s Day
This patterning activity was super quick and easy to set up. We like to share this as a St. Patrick’s Day math activity, but a quick switch of colors and you can make this pattern activity fit into any holiday or season.
- White paper roll
- Dot markers
- Dark Green Pom Poms
- Light Green Pom Poms
- Gold glitter
- Glass jars
- Lollypop (optional)
The Set Up
Setting this Leprechaun Pattern Path was so simple!
I began by laying out a large paper roll onto the floor. The length of the paper really depend on your students. Some years, I make the path really long and my entire preschool class works on it together one and off throughout the day. Other years, I save it for my own boys and make it a little shorter.
Next, I thin about how skilled you students are with patterns. If you a re using this for St. Patrick’s Day, then your students are probably ready for some of the more advanced patterns mentioned above.
Using the dot markers, I pressed a pattern onto the white paper.
Finally, I laid out something fun from the leprechaun. Shown here are glitter glass jars with a lollypop inside. Alternatively, you can place a pot of gold filled with chocolate gold coins at the end of the path, too.
How to Play
This preschool pattern game was so much fun!
My preschoolers jumped right in and were ready to add the pom poms to the matching color. I used a lot of different sizes of pom poms becasue that’s what I had on hand. In this activity, the size of the pom pom doesn’t matter. We’re focusing on the color.
And we used different shades of green to keep it St. Patrick’s Day themed.
As my preschoolers worked, I gave them gentle reminders based on their interaction with the activity itself.
The most little reminders to:
- Progress right to left
- Repeat the color pattern aloud
Patterning requires a lot of practice throughout preschool. This is just one way to work your preschoolers math skills. Add this to your math center, or use it as a circle time activity! Preschoolers can also work number sense skills by counting the pom poms after they ahve completed their patterns.
Ways to Switch Up This Patterning Activity for Preschoolers
Like you, I love preschool activities that can be adapted to the different needs in the classroom.
- For a fine motor extension, preschoolers can glue the pom poms to the paper!
- Use liquid glue so they can strengthen those hand muscles.
- And, for more math, you can also use differently sized pom poms and children can look for big versus small pom poms.
- Have preschoolers extend the pattern themselves.
- Or, have preschoolers create their own patterns on the white butcher paper and then invite a classmate to copy the pattern with the pom poms.
- Pom poms can be switched out for just about anything, from counting bears to dot stickers.
Now you are set to have a fun little pattern challenge left by the Leprechaun. Who can say no to a math activity left by the little guy in a green suit?
Printables and Lesson Plans for Patterning Skills
This Daily Lessons in Preschool Mathematics Positions & Patterns Unit includes everything you need to teach patterns and math positions to skills to preschoolers.
Daily Lessons in Preschool Mathematics is a complete and comprehensive curriculum designed to teach your preschooler all five disciplines of math without the boring worksheets!
POSITIONS & PATTERNS UNIT INCLUDES:
- yearly scope and sequence
- daily learning routines
- weekly discovery concept prompts
- targeted, skill-based learning activities
- integrated literacy activities
- weekly printable math centers
- teaching tips
- bonus activities
In total, these pattern lesson plans for preschool includes four weeks of learning (20 days of lessons).
More St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Preschoolers
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.
[…] for any preschooler or toddler who is learning colors. And don’t forget there is a lot of fine motor work, too, which is so important for developing pencil […]