Playful Math: Post-It Note Patterns

December 4, 2012

Playful Math: Post-It Note Patterns

Today Randi from Swoon is with us to share an inspiring math activity that not only develops geometry skills and spatial intelligence, but nurtures creativity and a strong sense of design.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for rainy day activities to do with your children. I love it when we can find new things to do with what we already have around the house (especially if it really is raining outside!).

All you need to make these pretty post-it patterns are post-it notes (I recommend the “super sticky” kind) and a pattern key to follow. You can download the two we used here and here. Or, grab a sheet of graph paper and make your own picture! You could even make letters and numbers. I love how this activity seems like art, but secretly involves so many different areas of learning: color, counting, following a pattern, and hand-eye coordination skills.

Playful Math: Post-It Note Patterns

To make your post-it pattern, simply follow your pattern key. We made ours on the wall (for the purpose of photographing it), but it might be easier to make your shape on a hard floor surface, especially for younger kids. Start in the middle of your picture, each square represents one post-it note. My kids are fairly young (2 and 4), so I placed the post-it notes as we went, but they told me where they should go, according to our key. Even though they could see the final shape on the key, they were still amazed when the project was finished on the wall!

Playful Math: Post-It Note Patterns

If you’re worried about wasting paper, we were able to re-use the post-its after taking them off the wall. The girls played with them all afternoon, mostly making roads and trails on the floor leading to “treasure.”

Playful Math: Post-It Note Patterns





Owner at Swoon
Randi is a regular contributor to Playful Learning, who specializes in crafts for kids. She also manages our wonderful contributors and helps to make this a beautiful place with a little design magic. She puts her passion for daydreaming to work over at her blog Swoon, where she shares ideas, original projects, and favorite things. She loves to laugh and considers herself a lifelong student. She lives in Seattle with her husband and three young children, and strives to make her home a beautiful, playful, and accessible place to grow up.


  1. Christine S. said on January 2, 2013 #

    This brings back memories! In my tweens and teens I loved getting my markers and settling back with a sheet of graph paper to make different patterns. I suppose it isn’t any great surprise that I use that love of bright colors and symmetry to make quilts!

  2. Mosaicos said on January 9, 2013 #

    [...] Playfull learning nos proponen otra actividad muy divertida para trabajar la teselación. Como explican en [...]

  3. Playful Math | Baby Development Stages said on January 18, 2013 #

    [...] love this playful math idea from Playful Learning for slightly older children! This idea is simple, but grand. The idea is to use sticky notes to [...]

  4. Lisha said on January 23, 2013 #

    This is SUCH a cool idea – thank you for sharing!

    I hope to share it soon with my Facebook parenting page fans on – please do stop by and say Hello!! :-)

  5. [...] Use post-it notes to make mosaics. Patterning, following a [...]

  6. [...] Playful Learning shares an activity making giant patterns on the wall using post-it notes. [...]

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