Patterns are one of the essential early skills that set the foundation for developing complex math skills.
Patterns are so fun to cover with the little ones! You can use ANYTHING to make patterns like marbles, shapes, colors, bows, beads, cereal, etc. One could get really creative in with patterning! Find something that your child enjoys and run with it!
In this photo we are using a folder game that I actually purchased from the dollar tree a few years ago. It just consists of different pictures of farm animals (excellent addition to a farm unit) in a folder.
Different types of beginner patterns:
ABAB (ex: red, blue, red, blue)
ABC (ex: red, blue, purple, red, blue, purple)
AABB (ex: red, red, blue, blue)
Remember to incorporate the senses when teaching patterns, this helps children with different styles of learning as well as utilizing whole brain learning.
- Listen for patterns in sounds, songs, drums, etc.
- Look for patterns in fabric, in books, on worksheets, etc.
- Allow the children to use their sense of smell by blindfolding or having them close their eyes while you introduce a pattern of smells (ex: cinnamon and a bar of soap). Then have them identify different smells and try to guess which one they’ll smell next. This could also be done with tasting by using non-toxic edible foods.
- Touch is a fun one which can be accomplished through textured objects such as different rocks or sand paper or manipulatives such as blocks and beads.
The following sites have very resourceful ideas on how to teach and have fun with patters.
- Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten has some excellent ideas for 4 and 5 year olds
- The Mommy Teacher has a cool video
- Beingconfidentofthis.com has a list of useful resources