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Bottlecap Pattern Strips

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Teachers are always on the lookout for any material to use in the classroom. If an item can be recycled to create a game or activity, it not only saves us money, but helps the environment too.

I save all of my soda bottle caps and reuse them for numerous math activities, as well as crafts. These pattern strips were a favorite in my Pre-K classroom, with students continuously wanting to play with them. They don't take too long to make and they last for years if you laminate the strips. You can place this activity in the discovery and manipulative centers to allow more students to have access at one time.


Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 5 strips



  1. Cut a piece of cardstock into 1.5 inch strips. If you cut horizontally, you'll have room for a larger pattern.
  2. Place a bottle cap on one side of a strip and trace around it. Repeat all the way across. Each strip holds 5-7 cap circles, if you leave about a half an inch in between them. Laminate the strips.
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  4. Think about the patterns you want students to make and which colors you will need. Hot glue 1-4 caps onto each strip.
  5. Have students complete the patterns with loose bottle caps, by laying them on the empty circles. You could also leave strips blank for students to create their own patterns.
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