Pattern blocks and laminating by hand

Learn how to print and laminate your own pattern block templates at home.

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How to Print Your Own Pattern Block Templates

After months of looking for pattern block picture cards, I downloaded set 1 off of Kelly’s Kindergarten (found via this blog post – thank you, Sandra!)

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We happen to have both the plastic and the wooden pattern blocks courtesy of my math manipulatives loving mother. I first got out the wooden set, thinking that – since they are a bit thicker – Emma would have an easier time with them. She got very frustrated at the blocks not lining up perfectly, and so I gave up thinking we’d try again in a few weeks. The next day, though, she went to the closet, pulled out the plastic ones and the pattern sheets, and made this perfect dinosaur:

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I don’t know if the thin plastic ones were actually easier for her to use than the wooden ones, or if she was just in a better mood the second day – but she continues to prefer the plastic ones over the wooden ones for this particular activity.

I laminated all of the pattern sheets by hand using a roll of laminating paper, and if you look at the train compared to the dinosaur, I got MUCH better at it as I went along. Turns out the main trick to laminating by hand is to expose no more than one inch of laminate at a time – may seem obvious to some of you, but it wasn’t to me. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to own a nifty laminating machine that’s even better!

Do you know of any other printable pattern block templates we should try?

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

11 thoughts on “Pattern blocks and laminating by hand”

  1. LOVE!!!!! Pattern blocks. They are a wnoderful invention. I haven't gotten ours out in a while… will have to try again. We have some foam ones too (from when I taught) and those are quiet, which can be really nice!

  2. MaryAnne,

    I just found your blog and have been enjoying reading some of your posts. Thank you for sharing the resource for pattern block pictures. This is something I'm doing with my children right now.

    I do have a question: how do you add the watermark of your blog name to the photos you post? It would be great if you could let me know about that.

    Have a great weekend!

    Mrs. H

  3. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    These look great, and you are so right about laminating a few inches at a time! Looks like Emma is really enjoying these!

  4. teachingyoungchildren

    This post made me want to rush and buy some pattern blocks soon. I saw this activity set before and felt that it's a little early still. I remember being very frustrated with tangrams, but I have always been terrible at visualization. Maybe my daughter is not as bad as I am :)

  5. @Mrs. Hewett – I add the watermarks to my photos using Windows Live Writer (a free download) as my blog editor, it's very easy to use.

  6. I remember doing these as a child! Do you know where I can get the blocks (wood or plastic)? My kids would LOVE this

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