Dragon Play and Math Activities: Dragon Patterns

For some fun today, how about making dragon patterns? Usually, dragons are covered in scales and these scales have a pattern. Treasure has patterns too. There are lots of ideas for pattern fun.


Little Sister wanted to make patterns with treasure. We rounded up some bottle caps, buttons, and flat glass marbles to be the treasure. Her first pattern is two colors, hard to see in the photos but they are green/blue, green/blue. Then, surprisingly, she made a pattern of 3 things. She wanted to use 3 colors of marbles but the pattern could be  different items too such as: bottle cap/button/marble, bottle cap/button/marble.

This is the first time she made a pattern with 3. We have done several different patterning activities recently and noticed patterns in different places. There are patterns in clothes, floors, tiles, and more and it’s been amazing to find so many. It takes time for brains to get the connections needed for patterns and lots of hands-on experiences.


Patterning is such a valuable skill. In a way, it’s built in. The simplest and most basic patterns are breathing, in/out, in/out, and the action of our hearts, open /close, open/close. All over our planet we have the repetition of day/night, day/night. Nature has incredible patterns.

The brain uses patterns to deal with vast amounts of information. Instead of being overwhelming, a pattern sequence condenses information into a much, much smaller chunk. A simple AB pattern, like blue/green, blue/green, can go to an infinite length but instead of having to store all that, the brain only has to remember A and B. A comes first and it’s always followed by B. Suddenly, something huge is very small. What an amazing strategy.dragon patterns

Your child may play with patterns for several minutes or only a couple, but the brain is still recording the experience. Like treasure, the exposure will pile up and create a powerful strategy. Weather forecasters rely on patterns, and so do businesses of all kinds. How will your child play with dragon patterns?

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