These simple pattern blocks are easy to make, and they have been a huge hit with my kids! There are so many ways to learn and discover with this fun hands-on STEM toy. Every time we think that we have found all the patterns we find another one! Make these blocks with wooden cubes, paint, and Sharpies.
This project started with some inspiration from the printable Infinity Tiles on Babble Dabble Do (check these out – so cool!). I knew that if I drew lines on the blocks that always traveled through the center of each side, then they would fit together no matter which way you turn the blocks.
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Connect the Line Blocks
First, I painted a bunch of 1 inch wooden blocks white. I used two packages of 13 each from Michael’s, so 26 total. A nice round 30 probably would have been even better, although 26 is enough to make some nice designs.
After the paint dried, I marked the center of each cube on each side. Then I drew lines in purple Sharpie that connect each side to the side adjacent to it.
Each block is a little different!
The first thing to explore is how to turn the blocks to build open or closed shapes.
Connect more of them – this pattern has a closed shape with a larger closed shape around it.
Can you build the longest possible continuous line? Check out the line in this one!
Black and White Pattern Blocks
After I made the line blocks, I wanted to create a different type of pattern on the opposite side. I decided to go with black and white triangles. To make these, I drew a diagonal line across the blocks with a ruler and a pencil. Then I just colored in one side with a black sharpie.
I wasn’t sure how many different patterns we would be able to create with the black and white blocks, but we have not yet discovered all the possibilities!
You can build with them either flat on the table, or make a tower like this. The fun part about building vertically is that you can create a pattern on one side, and then look at the other side to see what you created over there.
Here are just some of the patterns we have created:
Have fun exploring! Need more building ideas? Here are some of our favorites.