Creating patterns can be taught to infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Clapping your hands and encouraging your infant to mimic your claps is exposing him/her to patterns. If your toddler falls down, stands up and does not cry, and you applaud them saying, “Yay!” (and they do it again to get the same response), they have recognized a pattern. Children are never too young to be engaged in finding patterns.
- Make it a partner game: You use one color marker and let your child pick another color. You make a colored dot on a paper, and then have your child make a colored dot with their marker next to your mark. Continue by you making a mark, and then them, repeatedly until you get the sequence of the pattern established a few times. Switch up the pattern the next time by making two marks with your color and then one with their color, or vice versa. See what patterns they want to create!
- Make a bead necklace and start the pattern allowing your child to finish it.
- Using two different types of noodles, string them on yarn, or glue them on paper to make a pattern.
- Have a sensory box of dry beans? Create a pattern with two different beans and have your child repeat it.
- Clap a pattern: Using music, or not, clap a pattern such as one clap and two fast claps. Encourage your child to mimic it back to you. Even older infants can do this.
- The beat of music is a pattern since the notes repeat in most songs: Listen to Classical music during playtime, clap along to songs on the radio, use toy instruments to follow the pattern of the music beat.
This can be a ‘station’ or ‘center’ in your play room, if you have one. Otherwise, you can combine the chosen patterning activity items and store them in zip top bags or small boxes so that they can be taken out and utilized by your child when they need some time at the table or to focus on one activity.
What is your child’s favorite pattern activity?
Enjoy your time at home!