These 50 animal pattern block designs are perfect for STEM centres in your preschool or kindergarten! Children will learn the names of animals, practice building skills and math – all at once.
Many classrooms, homeschool or traditional, have pattern blocks. These little tiles fill a particular niche – they are sturdy, portable, inexpensive, and they encourage children to practice beginning math skills, such as counting, shapes, and colours in a fun hands-on way.
If you don’t have them yet, there are a few different kinds of pattern blocks on the market. Here are the classic pattern blocks, made from painted wood. We also like magnetic pattern blocks – they’re good to work with because designs do not slip, and they’re easy to bring along when we go on road trips, to appointments, and to restaurants.
All the pattern block sets usually come with a few design templates. At first, I thought that my kids would like building their own creations, but they also quite enjoy working on those design cards. They provide them with a challenge and give them a puzzle to solve. After we run out of those few designs that came with a set, we started making our own.
In many ways, the animal pattern block set is similar to them. Like alphabet pattern blocks, it has a lot of designs – 50 animals to build. It also comes with a nice new feature. It includes a new level of difficulty that comes with silhouette mats.
Before, we only offered two levels of complexity – mats that had coloured blocks (like an orca above) and mats that had black-and-white outlines of blocks (like a crab above). This set also comes with silhouette cards that show only the silhouette of the whole shape (like a kangaroo). The students need to figure out how best to fill it with blocks.
All of the mats are made to fit the standard pattern blocks, such as this set.
As before, the set also includes small cards that can be used for reference. You can make little books out of them by punching a hole in the corner and threading them onto a book ring.
The animals included in this pattern block set are various! There are familiar farm animals and exotic animals; there are mammals, fish, birds and insects; there are animals from North America, Africa, Australia and all over the world.
Besides the building challenge, the mats come with a mathematical problem to solve. The students are asked to count how many blocks of which colour they have used.
Animal Pattern Block Mats Features
- Three levels of complexity, based on the cards you choose to use:
- Coloured cards are easiest to use for young students.
- Black-and-white cards increase difficulty and encourage students to pay attention to the shape rather the colour.
- Silhouette cards provide a challenge to older students, who will have to build the figure based only on its silhouette.
- Two scales of cards: four designs on one sheet (convenient card size) and one design per sheet (100% scale and easiest to replicate for young children ).
- Cards that ask children to solve an additional mathematical problem by counting the blocks of a certain colour.
If you want a sample, try the free bird pattern block mats.
Build Lego Duplo animals while learning the alphabet! Included are 26 free printable cards with animal and letter designs.
Looking for new Magna Tiles designs to try? Here are our favourite Magna Tile ideas to build, with printable cards for inspiration.
Thanks for reading!