Magnetic Pattern Play

  • Math
  • Motor Practice
  • Kindergarten
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 4-5
  • Grades 1-3

Use a cookie sheet and magnets for hours of educational entertainment. Use these materials to introduce your child to math, shapes and symmetry.


  • Magnetic Buttons with Foam Adhesive
  • Metal Cookie Sheets


Step 1. Gather your supplies.



Step 2.


Separate the Wood Shapes into triangles and squares. Peel the adhesive backing and attach the Magnetic Buttons to the Wood Shapes.


Step 3.


Place 1 large square, 4 medium squares, and 4 small squares on a cookie sheet. The Magnetic Buttons  stick to the cookie sheet, but you can easily slide them and rearrange them on the sheet.


Step 4.


To make the first design, start with the large square in the middle, place the medium squares in each corner. Place the small squares in the middle of each side.


Step 5.


Next, mix up your design by rotating the small squares to make them into diamonds. This is great way to teach young children about the names of shapes.


Step 6.


Finally rotate the large and medium squares to make them into diamonds. This will create a large diamond shape, made up of smaller diamonds.


Step 7.


Now switch to triangles. Start with 6 large triangles. Place 2 triangles together to create a diamond. Add the triangles to the side, as shown.The triangles will look like 2 trapezoids.


Step 8.


Move around the shapes to make 2 diamonds on each end, as shown. This will create a six sided figure, called a hexagon.


Step 9.


Use 6 medium triangles to make a hexagon. Add 6 small triangles around the edges to make a shape that looks like a sun. Keep practicing making different shapes using the triangles and squares together and see what designs you can create.


Shape up your students’ geometry skills with an interactive magnetic craft!  

  • Materials Matter: If wooden shapes aren’t available, use cardstock or foam sheets to cut out as many shapes as you’d like and attach them to magnets — this also gives your students a chance to explore textures!
  • Shapes Everywhere: Geometry can be a tricky subject for students — provide extra reading materials to familiarize them with the everyday shapes. Play this video and quiz your class’ knowledge — then ask them to recreate the shapes on the play pan!   

Go on a shape hunt! Where can your students find fun shapes like trapezoids and parallelograms? Check places like the playground or cafeteria, then regroup and discuss what shapes they discover!