Patterns are all around us and help children learn about the world around them. Patterns can be found in letters and numbers, shapes and sizes, daily routines, music and much more. By helping children see and learn patterns, you can help them with literacy, math, science and other skills. Try these fun activities to emphasize pattern building.
Sort! Help your child sort items in the house. Have different shapes and sizes of blocks? Sort them! Try everyday items like coins, stamps and playing cards. Which items are the same? Which items are different? Get them interested in food and nutrition by sorting food into colors or classifying them as fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. Check out library books featuring different kinds of animals – which ones are mammals, and which ones are reptiles? Have a child who likes to help around the house? Sorting laundry is just the thing for learning patterns and categorization.
Play board games! Games usually follow patterns, like the repetitive order of the colors in the spaces or how game pieces line up. Having a specific time for board games also helps establish a pattern. Check out some board games here at the library!
What’s Next? Sequencing is a big part of pattern recognition. Do simple math exercises and ask what comes next. Make it more fun by using food instead. One apple, two pears, three peaches – how many oranges?
Arrange a routine! While no one wants every day to be like the one before, try to arrange some regular activities in a specific order. For example, does your little one have a specific bedtime? What events happen right before bedtime? Maybe brushing teeth, going to the bathroom, having a bedtime story in bed? Having some structure to your day helps children learn rules.
Be creative – the more patterns you can show your child, the more they will learn about their surrounding world. Be sure to look at library books and DVDs on patterns, too!