Pattern Games for Kids

We have a game called Frantic Fish that I am in love with. Unfortunately, I can’t find it anywhere, and the manufacturer’s website has disappeared. Poof! I did find the inventor’s site, but no mention of this game on there. You can see more of his art, though: John Osborn.

pattern games for kids

The deal with this game is to arrange a bunch of fish cardboard shapes (like puzzle pieces) to make different larger shapes and patterns. It is based on the idea of tessellations, or repeating shapes. The colors are beautiful, the fish are fun, and it’s all about open-ended learning/creating. Pattern games for kids pack so much learning into a seemingly simple product.

pattern games for kids

I was working with these with Beckett this morning. At age 3, he’s a little young to be following some of the patterns they show to recreate, but that doesn’t stop him from making his own patterns. He also likes to watch me put some more complicated patterns together. I can feel the math segment of my brain waking up slightly when I work with these.

kids' pattern games

I figured that such an awesome concept would surely be out there in the form of many other games, so I went a-searching. These are similar in idea to Frantic Fish, playing on the same ideas of fitting shapes together to make a whole. Plus you can bet your kids will dream up their own ways to manipulate the shapes.


pattern play by mindware

Pattern Play by Mindware provides brightly colored blocks that you can fit into the box in various ways, or make your own patterns outside of the box. (There’s a joke here somewhere.)

perpetual puzzles

The Lagoon Group’s Canine Caper is a beautiful tessellation puzzle that includes directions for easier play and harder play. It’s for ages 8 and up, so it will grow with your kids.



Imaginets is great for ages 3 and up, and provides a magnetic surface that doubles as a dry erase board. Awesome for road trips or restaurants. Again, kids can replicate the designs given or do their own thang.

hexie snaps

Hexie-Snaps were the winner of a Dr. Toy best product award, and are sort of a plastic mosaic-making toy. They come with a carrying case and cards with design ideas.



Pentominoes are along the same lines as the rest of these, but they’re made from 1 square inch-sized squares to form different shapes that you fit together. Like the rest of these games. this one appeals to all ages of kid over 3 (and adults).


I love these games that are firmly rooted in math, but just as firmly-rooted in design concepts. Color, pattern, shape, composition. It’s all there, seeping into your kids’ brains. Do you see what’s even going on here? Design makes math fun!

What do you think?

Written by Joanne Gonzales

Joanne Gonzales has a passion for getting creative. Whether she is making personalized DIY gifts or taking part in larger arts and crafts projects, she puts her all into making new and beautiful things.

She lives with a group of close friends and believes in the natural way of life. Joanne has built an outdoor arts and crafts gallery that overlooks the countryside in her hometown, which is where all of her creations come to life.

Art started off as a hobby, but over time Joanne has mastered her skills and sold some of her favorite pieces. She works full time as a florist and has done for many years. It helps keep her creative juices flowing and she hopes to one day open her own florist shop with a twist.


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