Sorted crayonsPatterns 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.

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Looking for Love: See a Heart, Share a Heart

Heart shapes

It all started with spilled ice cream.  Artist Eric Telchin looked at the splatter of this mishap and saw a heart shape.  Soon he was discovering hearts everywhere and photographing the evidence. His images have been collected in the uplifting book “See a Heart, Share a Heart.”  

I stumbled upon this bright and cheerful book while straightening the children’s area, and now I am obsessed. Racing out over my lunch break, I found hearts in my foundation’s peeling paint, a gum stain on the sidewalk and the foliage. What remained of my dog’s bone was also a perfect heart, but he saw me eyeballing it and raced out to bury the treasure. Over a week later, I have an entire collection of hearts and a new way of looking at the world. Some people see a piece of trash; I see the symbol of love (a symbol I document and then deposit where it belongs). Continue reading