Build creative and analytical thinking with digital pattern play

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Mar 29, 2021 7:32:00 AM

"Attention to possibilities leads to intention for possibilities, which equals creativity."
                                                                              --Dr. Henry Olds

Ever since Dr. Henry Olds shared his amazing patterning process in our booth at NECC (now ISTE) in 1999, I have been loved playing with the possibilities in Pixie and now Wixie. I am constantly encouraged to pattern play whenever I look at this picture on my wall of one Dr. Old's patterning favorites.


Dr. Olds, along with Dr. Walter F. Drew, have been working with students and patterning activities since the mid-80s and have discovered how powerful pattern play is as a tool to build both analytical and creative thinking skills.

You can get started with the Pattern Play template that includes an image tile.

The Wixie Stickers Library also includes a Pattern Play folder to make it easy to get started with the process. 

To access it, select the Image button and search "pattern" or browse Stickers > Objects > Pattern Play at the dialog.

Find a pattern "tile" you want to play with and add it to the page.


Use the Duplicate button beneath the tools to make a copy of the tile.

To begin building a visual relationship between the two pieces, move the stickers next to each other.

Use the Rotate and Flip options beneath the tools to find patterns of line, light, contrast, and color.

Select each piece, or groups of pieces, and continue copying, pasting, and arranging to extend the pattern. 

start to the pattern

Repeat and build upon this process to build your pattern!

Pattern Next
You can also create your own pattern play pieces using Wixie's Image button.

    • Use the Camera option to capture an image for a play piece.

    • Use the File option to find an image on your device you can use.

Once you have your tile, start playing!

Pattern play with image of dead tree

If you share your pattern play art through social media, please tag #Wixie or @Tech4Learning so we can enjoy too!


Topics: creativity, Wixie, creative, tessellation

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