Pattern Towers for Preschoolers

Yesterday, we had fun building pattern towers with bamboo skewers, playdough, and colorful drinking straws cut in pieces.  I was inspired by my sister-in-law Leah’s homemade bead stacking toy that she made with bamboo skewers and floral foam.  Since my kids are a little older (3 and 6), we used straws to make patterns for a great preschool thinking activity with some fine motor coordination thrown in!

Preschool Pattern Towers


We stuck the sharp end of the skewers into the playdough, but skewers should still be used under supervision, of course! (My boys wanted to make them into swords – BOYS!)

Preschool Pattern Towers

Gresham (age 6) made patterns with 6 different colors, but Owen’s “patterns” were totally random.  I let him play and have fun for a while, and then I made a pattern for him to add on to.

Preschool Pattern Towers

I recently saw how much patterns help kids learn math when I taught Gresham how to count quarters.  

Another benefit to this activity – it kept them busy for almost 30 minutes!  When they were tired of making patterns, they had a great time sticking the straws into the playdough.  And, I saved all of the straw pieces so that another day Owen can lace them on pipe cleaners or shoelaces!


  1. Jennifer says

    Awesome! Great for my 5 year old who likes manipulatives. A fun spin on an old concept… we were coloring patterns last night but, will do this today. Thanks for the post!


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