Since my little one is a preschooler now, I have been trying to include more educational crafts and activities in our play. For a fun holiday-related activity I thought it would be great to do a STEAM activity. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Our activity is a pattern recognition and painting craft. Follow along with this play idea to teach your preschooler math skills using color and pattern recognition.
Thanks to The Pencil Grip for sponsoring this learning activity.
You already know I’m a fan of less mess in our play. My little one loves to paint, but I’m not always a fan of cleaning up paint spills. So I love doing these type of activities with our favorite mess-free paints!
Kwik Stix is a solid tempera paint that dries in 90 seconds. Rather than being a paint that you spread with a brush, they are formed like pencils. It goes on like paint, but you draw with it like with a crayon.
Pattern Recognition STEAM Activity for Preschoolers
We built and decorated a quick “Christmas tree” with blocks, then I traced it on paper and had my son help match the colors on the blocks to the spot on the drawing, then color it in. A great STEAM activity to build some math skills, practice colors, and let them draw.
- Kwik Stix
- Paper (I used parchment paper)
- Tape to make the paper stay on your surface if needed
- Pen or marker to draw the shape outline and sketch in the location of the blocks
The first thing we did was build the shape of the decorated tree. The base is wider, with varying colors and lengths of blocks. The “tree” gets narrower as you go up, and the top is a small single or double block.
Then I traced the outline on paper and sketched in a general outline of each block that made up the tree.
The next part I had my son help me determine which block on the tree design matched which empty spot on the paper. He helped name the colors and location, and I wrote in the letter corresponding to the color.
Then I handed him the Kwik Stix and had him color in the block location with the correct color. This might have been the most difficult step, as coloring in the lines is not only a challenging fine motor practice but also a chance to flex our focus muscles and not get distracted by wanting to color in everything on the paper.
I have to say I was impressed with my son being able to do the pattern recognition so quickly. He’s a smart little monkey when he’s focused and engaged in the activity.
Here’s a quick video you can see for yourself how easy and mess-free these awesome Kwik Stix are:
Join the Working Mom Tribe
Join the Working Mom Tribe and get support and tools to help you thrive! Tribe members get access to my library of resources and printables.