The Children’s Department newest STEM kit is all about estimating amounts and finding and creating patterns! This kit contains:

This kit is recommended for ages 3+.

Contents of Patterns and Estimating STEM Kit

These wooden blocks seem simple, but these colored wooden blocks provide hours of fun and both easy and hard challenges. Use the tangrams to teach shapes, and then build with them! You can make an astonishing variety of different pictures with them. With the tangrams, you can start by matching the shapes when you can see the colors, like below.

Tangram pattern cards

Then you can make it more difficult and see the outline of the picture, but not where each piece goes. Can you figure out how to make this shape using just 7 pieces?

Tangram pattern cards, side 2

My kids loved them!

Pattern Play is a solid, well-built set that is fun AND beautiful! It contains 40 pieces of wood that can be arranged in many beautiful ways. There are idea cards that come with it as well. Here is one idea card:

Pattern Play Idea Card

And here is my kids’ close approximation. They worked together on this for a long time!

There are MANY different ideas:

More Idea Cards

I will also note that my 2 year old just played with the Pattern Play blocks as blocks–he built with them–so while that isn’t the intended use (and you do need to be careful of the small blocks), that can be fun too.

I know those two games don’t really contain anything about estimating, but don’t fear! This kit has a great book about estimating, Great Estimations. This books is amazing for teaching the skills of estimating. Estimating can be more than just taking a good guess!

The other book in this kit, Patterns at the Museum, is a fun look at patterns in the real world. A pattern is something that repeats, and that can happen in many different ways! Sometimes it’s the lines on the floor, or the bones in a dinosaur skeleton.

This kit is available in the Youth Services department in the STEM kit area (it’s in the northwest corner of the floor, between the J Fiction and the Story & Activity Room). It checks out for 3 weeks.

Questions? Email Laura at [email protected].

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