Repetitive patterns are found everywhere, from the textile designs on our clothing, to the carpets we walk on. This project will offer children the opportunity to create their own repetitive design and play with their food, all at the same time.


  • thick cardboard, foam core or canvas board
  • pencil
  • paper
  • white glue
  • paint brush
  • assortment of dried food eg. lentils, rice, poppy seeds, soup mix, barley etc.


1. Explain to children how to create a repetitive pattern. Provide them with a pencil and paper so they can sketch out a few simple ideas. Remind them that the spaces will be filled with dried grains, legumes, etc. so the pattern should be kept simple, and the spaces fairly large, particularly if you are using things like lentils and rice.

2. Choose a surface to make the pattern on that is sturdy, and won’t buckle under the weight of the food being added. Canvas boards work well, as will any thick cardboard or foam core. Draw the pattern onto the surface with a pencil.

3. Decide on the dried food you will use, and where you will be placing it. Begin with one section at a time and carefully apply glue using an old paint brush. The glue can be laid on quite thick in order to hold the food better. Sprinkle the food on, and gently press it down. Wait a minute or so, and gently turn the board to get rid of the excess. Continue to work this way until all sections have been filled.

Examples of Repetitive Patterns

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