Learning Activities · Small Manipulatives

Block Match

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This activity is perfect for working on colors and shapes. It is also another activity that is VERY easily tweaked for different ages. My preschoolers LOVED this, and I know my 11 year old sister would love to create her own pictures out of these fun shapes.

Obviously this activity will work the best with a set of pattern blocks. We own the Melissa and Doug set, Link Here. They are a great price and come with 10 ready to go boards. I know you can also buy a big bin of the pattern blocks. So far I have never felt like my set wasn’t big enough, but more is always better.


Here comes the fun part…or the mind bending part. You get to use all your immense brain power and creativity to create a pattern or shape with these cute little blocks. I’m not going to lie, during our dinosaur week my skills were truly tested but I prevailed…with the help of my husband. Making a set for my 2 year old was a lot easier.

Simply grab a piece of white paper, some markers that are the colors of your blocks and a couple blocks to trace.

For my 2 year old I just did a pattern one, a flower and a bee. She knew what the bee was right away which gave me a ridiculous ego boost, simple things people.


To keep things simple and work on our colors that we are focusing on, I just used the blue and yellow blocks.


I have noticed children of all ages really do like when they are in the shape of something they recognize. We spent a lot of time making the buzz noise and having the bee fly to the flower. The pattern page wasn’t as big of a hit, but it was a good one to start with my my little.


My girl is barely 2 so I wasn’t expecting her to put the blocks on in the perfect position. We just talked about the colors. I would point to a shape and ask her if was a yellow block or a blue one and she would grab the right block. Sometimes I would pick up a block and ask her where it went. After doing this for a little bit she grabbed her own paper and traced the blocks too, obviously they weren’t usable, but she loved the process.

Here is a picture a few of the others we’ve made. (If you do some hunting on the internet you can find some already made, just look for Pattern Block Mats)


3-4 you can use more blocks and have the pieces touching, they are developmentally old enough to see the different shapes and make their pieces fit.

4+ Some children may like being part of the making process. You can look up a simple picture of the desired shape, a cat, and then work together to pick out pieces for the ears, the tail, the belly. As needed you may need to arrange them and trace them, but give your child the opportunity to do more than you think they are able to do. My children always surprise me with how much they are capable of!

TIP: Older children might love making shapes for a younger child, or even their mom.


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