Patterns are all around us. Help your little ones to make predictions with these fun patterning activities.
Why Do Patterning Activities
Mathematics is all about patterns. By helping your preschooler learn patterns you are helping your little one to build the first building blocks they need to help them with mathematics.
Making patterns is sequencing. Starting with items your little one can see, like colored beads, it makes it so that when it comes time to move sequencing to the abstract it is easier to do because your little one has the practice of sequencing. Thinking through the order things need to happen is hard for your little one to do. With practice, your little one will strengthen her skills.
Patterning Activities can be extended to daily routines. A pattern is something that repeats over and over so a daily routine that you do in the same order every day is a pattern! Most kids thrive on a routine and this a great opportunity to show your preschooler that patterns happen in real life.
Identifying similarities and differences is one of the elements of identifying and making patterns. Have your preschooler find and make patterns by telling you what is the same and what is different in the items you choose for the activities. This is the first step to patterning activities.
Items You’ll Need
*Different materials that vary in shape, color, or size —- such as pom pom, beads, blocks, paints, colored cereal, etc.
Copy a Pattern
Using your items (like pom poms) make a pattern based on colors. Start with two colors. For example, red, blue, red, blue, red. Have your preschooler copy the pattern with more pom poms.
Finish the Pattern
Start a pattern with your items. You may take green and yellow cereal and alternate them — green, yellow, green, yellow, green. Have your little one finish and continue on the pattern.
Instead of making a pattern using the colors of the items, make a pattern where the size is the pattern. For example, you may take a pom pom, then place a piece of cereal, then another pom pom. The pattern would be big, small, big. Have your little learner say the pattern out loud and finish the pattern. You will want to remind them that patterns aren’t only for colors.
Grab out the paints (or markers) and make some patterns using different shapes. If shapes are a bit too much for your little one, a line up and down then a line side to side may be a bit easier for her.
More Challenging Patterns
If your little one has mastered the alternating pattern, try something a bit more complex like red, red, blue, red, red, blue, and see if she can figure it out. You can also introduce three or four colors (or shapes) to make patterns. The possibilities are endless!
Preschool Patterning Activities
Give your little ones the early foundation they need to excel in life by doing patterning activities. These fun and engaging activities will help keep your littles’ minds growing.