Making apple patterns in preschool

Apples are a neat way to explore patterns in your classroom

We start off the beginning of the school year with lots of different types of simple patterning processes in my classroom and recently, we explored making apple patterns…

Because we have a mixed age group (ages 3 to 5) in our class, some of the patterns are simple AB patterns (for our younger students) and some of the patterns are AABB (for our older students  or those who are ready for a little bigger challenge)….

Preparing the Patterning Activity

On the table were yellow and red apples, yellow and red markers, and a sentence strip for each child to use as a guide for making their apple patterns. The children started by setting the apples across the sentence strip in their pattern…

Creating their Patterns

Next the children remove the apples off of the strip and then finish the pattern on the strip with red and yellow markers…

Not every child would remember to remove their apples from the strip before drawing their own apples (circles) to complete the pattern but as long as they were getting the idea, we didn’t worry about it…

As the children worked on their patterns, Mrs. Courtney or I would stop by the patterning center to see how things were going and to help the children through the process as needed.  This was the first time the children tried this process but we will repeat this same patterning process using other objects throughout the school year and as we do, the children will not need our guidance…

Other ways to Explore Apples

The children did a terrific job and after they completed their patterns, they folded them up like a book, wrote their name on them and put them in their cubbies to take home.  We kept the apples and used them for our snack time and other activities we had planned…

An Introduction to Patterning with Apples

Oh, and this is me showing the children how to make patterns before sending them off to try this on their own…

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By |2019-01-03T16:47:36+00:00October 12th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Danny October 12, 2012 at 8:02 am - Reply

    That’s very smart, children absolutely can learn from a simple thing 🙂

  2. Mary October 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    This activity/lesson goes to show that we all learn each and everyday. The children were able to learn about colors, shapes, drawing/tracing, healthy snack, following instructions, and most of all making the effort of doing the project. Thank you for sharing this Life Lesson. Best,

  3. Joanne October 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    What awesome hands on learning you have going on in your classroom. I love it. Soon these little ones will begin seeing patterns in words because you have set them up right. 🙂

  4. Debbie Clement October 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Deborah. I stand in awe as normal of your ability to share with the wider world at such an amazing caliber, but I simply must take a minute to thank you for your grasp and ability to share such incredible learning. The children in your care are so fortunate and the rest of us just stand and applaud.

    Sure hope we have a couple of minutes in Atlanta, but if the time evaporates — please know that I continue to be one of your biggest fans.

    Saw this over at Pinterest and just felt compelled to say, THANKS!!!


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm - Reply

      Ah Debbie,

      What a sweet comment. I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta! I hope we have some time together too:)

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