STREAM Activity: 2D Patterns

How many patterns can you create?

Activity best for children ages 2 and up

Patterns can be found everywhere – in art, music, math, and more! But what is a pattern? Today, we will learn all about patterns and get to practice making some of our own. A pattern is when something happens over and over again in a repeated way.

Some common patterns we often find are two-dimensional (2D), visible patterns. When something is two-dimensional it is completely flat and cannot be held in our hands, like a drawing or picture on a piece of paper! Visible means that it is something we can see. Take a look around your house, your classroom, or outside and think about what 2D patterns you can see – are there any colors or shapes that are repeating over and over again in a pattern? Some examples you can look for are carpets or fabric on furniture, clothing, or games like in the photos below. Once you’ve found a few examples of patterns, let’s try making our own 2D pattern with the included activity!

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One sheet of paper

Coloring utensils

Construction paper in 2 or more colors


Pen or pencil



Guiding Questions:

Can you find an example of a pattern in your house or outside?

How can we make patterns with sounds or words?


Step 1

Gather the materials you’ll need to create a 2D, visible pattern. You can use any coloring utensils you like, as well as construction paper or colored paper of any size!

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Step 2

Using your ruler and a pen or pencil, draw a grid on your blank sheet of paper.

Your grid can be any size you like – the example uses 1×2 inch rectangles, but you can also do 1×1 inch squares to have more spaces for your patterns or 2×2 inch squares for bigger spaces for patterns.

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Step 3

Use the squares of the grid to create 2D, visible patterns!

With your coloring materials, you can make patterns out of repeating colors, designs, or shapes that you draw and color yourself.

Using your construction paper, scissors, and glue, cut out shapes or symbols to create patterns.

In your grid, you can make any patterns you like!

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Step 4

Fill all the squares of your grid to create a masterpiece of 2D, visible patterns! Challenge yourself and see how many different patterns you can make.

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Grown Ups-Are you looking for more ways to extend your child’s learning? Check out these extension activities to build upon today’s STREAM activity!

Reading Connections

Pitter Pattern by Joyce Hesselberth

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Real World Connections

The world is full of patterns. We can make our own patterns with art, sounds, and numbers, but we can also find patterns in nature! For example, a lot of animals and insects have patterns in their fur or on their bodies to help them blend in with their surroundings, like a tiger’s orange and black stripes or a ladybug’s black spots on her red wings. Another example of a natural pattern are the seasons – spring, summer, fall, winter, spring, summer, fall, winter! We can always count on the pattern of the seasons to repeat over and over again.