Patterns are arrangements of things(colors, shapes, sounds, images, numbers, movements, events) that repeat in a logical way. Patterns help children learn to make predictions and connections, to understand what is coming next, and to use reasoning skills.
The basic pattern sequence taught in preschool is an AB pattern(red, blue, red, blue…). Once the child understands the AB pattern new patterns are introduced like ABB(circle, square, square…) and ABC(duck, fish, turtle…). In preschool we teach pattern awareness, how to copy and continue a pattern, how to make/draw a pattern from memory, and how to find the mistake and fix a pattern.
Try these simple ways to teach patterns at home:
1. Notice a pattern on your child’s clothing.
2. Make a pattern using toys you child enjoys. (car, truck, car, truck…)
3. Make a pattern by doing something. (set the table with a pattern–fork, plate, spoon….)
4. Make a sound pattern using an instrument/object. (on the piano…play 2 keys over and over then ask your child to repeat it)(bang different patterns on a pot for your child to follow).
5. Make a movement pattern. (tiptoe, jump, stop….)(clap, tap knee, tap shoulder..)(go left, go right, go left….)(Ring around a Rosie)
6. Get out colored toys/manipulatives and make patterns. (Legos…red, blue, red, blue…)
7. Make patterns with stickers
8. Save lids and make a variety of patterns.(big, medium, small…)
9. Create patterns with objects in nature.(stick, leaf, acorn, rock…)
10. Make a pattern on the sidewalk with chalk. (square, circle, triangle….)
11. Create a time/schedule pattern. (10 mins on computer, 10 mins cleaning your room, 10 mins on homework…)
12. Sing a song or nursery rhyme with a pattern.”Head and Shoulders, Knees, and toes” “Pat-A-Cake”
13. Play a game with a pattern. “Duck, Duck…Goose”
14. Write the child’s name using a color pattern. (Red L, Blue E, Red A, Blue H=LEAH)
15. Create patterns with food…(cracker, cheese, cracker, cheese…) (use a skewer to place fruit in a pattern) (make a pancake with banana slice, berry…around the outside)
16. Create an art project pattern.(paper strips glued into rings to create a pattern chain, paint lines with 2/3 colors to make a pattern, draw shapes to make a pattern)