Making patterns is an important math concept for kids to know – and what better way to learn them than through conversation heart patterns!?

When I told my 5 year-old, A, that she would be making patterns using classic Valentine’s conversation hearts, she couldn’t wait to get started. Â A loved sorting the different colored hearts, figuring out the patterns, and gluing down the candies. I loved the super easy prep and that my daughter was joyfully practicing a concept that is so central to understanding mathematics.

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To prepare for this activity, I simply grabbed a piece of cardstock and drew several hearts on it. Â For each heart, I created a different pattern for A to complete by gluing on a few repetitions of the pattern.

I chose to have A glue the hearts down because she loves to glue and having her squeeze the thick craft glue strengthens her hands for writing. Â In less than 5 minutes, we were ready to make conversation heart patterns!

## Conversation Heart Patterns

(To turn this into a simple busy bag activity, simply draw a heart on a piece of cardstock, cut the cardstock to fit in a plastic bag and toss in a box of conversation hearts. Â You can start the patterns without gluing the hearts down. Â Then, after your child completes a pattern, you can easily remove the hearts and begin another.)

A has been creating patterns for years now so she easily completed this activity within minutes – with the exception of my tricky ABCAC, ABCAC pattern. Â When I noticed she wasn’t sure what the pattern was, I had her slow down and point to each color while naming the color out loud. Â Once she heard the repetition out loud, she then was able to complete the rest of the conversation heart pattern.

When A was done, I reminded her that each pattern can be represented by a letter pattern. Â Using the simplest pattern, the pink-green-pink-green pattern, I showed her this can be called an ABAB pattern.

I chose a few of the simpler patterns and had A tell how we could name the pattern using letters. Â This provided her with a little extra challenge, but A was motivated knowing she would soon be eating all the leftover candies. There’s really no sweeter way to practice patterning!

## Want More?

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