Free Printable Board Game for Preschoolers and Kindergarten | Space Motif

Space Motif is an ideal game for practicing patterning!

Patterning is a fundamental skill that helps children make connections and predictions. This game teaches matching, sorting, making repeating patterns, sequencing, visual memory and problem solving, as well as describing the solution to the patterning. It creates an understanding and recognizing patterns in future math problems and equations.

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They will be:

  • Generating a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule
  • Identifying and copying/repeating a simple pattern
  • Identifying simple patterns and choosing the next shape in the pattern
  • Completing a pattern
  • Finding the next item in an emerging pattern

The theme of Space Motif is outer space. The images are of planets and satellites. Before playing, you might want to find some videos of outer space if your child is not familiar with the concept of planets and spaceships.

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Ways to use the Space Motif resources

  • Pick two images that are different. Put them down next to each other on the top boxes on the game board. Give your child one of each of the two you chose. Ask them to make their two look like your two right under the two you placed down on the next line of boxes. Then add two more of the same pattern to your top line. Have them do the same to their second row.
  • Add a third planet and make a pattern with three planets and ask your child to duplicate it. Once the students have the idea of making the same pattern over and over have them make patterns for you to copy or challenge other family members. In the beginning you provide the planet to use. Once they are familiar with the concept of patterning, have them search in the cut planets for the exact next matching planet in the sequence.
  • Once they are comfortable with the two alternating patterns, you can introduce the coloring experience.
  • Use the definition of a pattern: things are arranged according to a rule. There must be at least two repeating arrangements to be a “pattern”. Ask them to tell you the “rule”. For example, “red satellite, then green planet, then blue satellite, red satellite, green planet, blue satellite”
  • Have the students challenge themselves with more difficult patterns. How many objects in a pattern can they make?

Remember to be a pattern, it needs to repeat itself at least two times!

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Useful Tips!

  • If you have glue, you can have some of the patterns pasted to a blank sheet of paper to demonstrate patterning and place it on your display area (the fridge!).
  • Practice patterning with manipulative objects like Legos, blocks, or use common “found” objects like buttons, plumbing washers, bingo chips, twigs, rocks, leaves, plastic spoons, etc. You do need to find multiples of the same exact item in order to make at least two repeating patterns.
  • Take a clean, empty egg carton to practice making patterns. Cut colored paper into shapes to practice making patterns. Cut blank white paper the same size as the top of the egg carton. Draw the shapes in a pattern they need to follow. For example: star, triangle, circle, star, triangle, circle. * Have them put each of the shapes you cut into the egg carton in the order you put on the guide paper. You can also lay out the planets in the top of the egg carton in a pattern to follow.
  • Use cereal and M & Ms as a way to make patterns. Corn flake, brown M & M, cheerio, red M & M, Corn flake, brown M & M cheerio, red M & M. Or use Goldfish or Cheese its. Win the pattern and eat the prize. Remember that as they place these objects
  • If you have beads at home, string them on yarn, spaghetti or pipe cleaners in patterns. Go out and find leaves from trees or bushes to use in patterning.
  • As you set the table for dinner, you are patterning. Everyone gets a plate, fork, napkin, spoon. Think of other real world patterns. We put on a sock on one foot then a shoe. We put on a sock on the other foot and then a shoe.
    Empty the silverware drawer and make patterns with salad fork, dinner fork, teaspoon, table spoon.
  • You can also use the egg carton and the planets for sorting by color or by design. All the green planets go in one egg cup, all the blue satellites go in another. Use the opportunity to reinforce color, shape, etc. The planet is round, the satellite looks like a diamond or triangle.
  • Use the planets as counters. Use them with the Who’s Counting?: Numbers with Dots 1-20

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