I bought my child a set of pattern blocks a few years ago and she has played with them on several occasions. She made pictures; cats, houses, stars and flowers. Sometimes she attempted patterns. She once attempted to create the images that came with the set but got a little bored with those and preferred to make her own designs. I recently bought Simon Greggs ATM Book about Patterns Blocks and spent time playing around with the blocks myself. I like the idea of cutting a gap for my child to fill and thought she would enjoy this (she did)

I gave her the hexagon first and she quickly made this pattern below and said “this looks like a button to get into a fancy building” and explained that she would push this and then the doors would open and you had to push each hexagon with a different finger and it would check if you could come in.

Next we tried the Octagon and she enjoyed putting in pieces and then looking at the space remaining and looking over the pieces she had and deciding what could fit. She restarted a few times and the image below is at the point before she emptied the template of pieces and started again. She said she wished there was a shape that “had a pointed end but looked like an arrow so it could fit in the gap”

Here is another attempt. She said the image looked like a man and wanted to give it a red head and orange hat. She wanted to include a hexagon but after many failed attempts to fill the gaps she removed it.

Sometimes she started at one end and others at the other end. She made estimations on what piece might fit and which couldn’t. She also said, when picking up the green rhombus “this piece is pointier so can’t fit this gap”

When she was finally able to fill the template she was really pleased with herself. She tried to find an image within the design and tried picking out 3 small orange triangles to replace with the trapezium but didn’t like it so replaced the triangles.

I enjoyed watching her play with the pieces and look forward to getting them out again.