A pattern is reoccurring designs that follow a set layout. They can be found throughout our daily lives and we can unconsciously recognize them.
Why learn patterns?
Patterns help build the foundation needed for later mathematical skills. Complex numbers and mathematical operations are better understood after children experience pattern practice. Not only do they help with math skills, but it will be applied to other areas in life as well. Patterns expose children to making a decision that includes critical thinking skills. They have to focus and create hypotheses while determining if their end result was correct. They strengthen their problem-solving skills by correcting mistakes and solving the pattern.
Millions of patterns can be created for your child to learn with and create on their own. Here are just some of the pattern layouts you can start with.
- AB – One by one, For example, Blue, Yellow, Blue, Yellow
- AABB – Two by two, example, Car, Car, Truck, Truck
- ABC – Alphabetic order, example, Cat, Elephant, Turtle
- AaBb – Large of an item then small of the same item
- ABB – One by two, example, Bat, Ball, Ball
How to teach your little one patterns and when to move forward.
Begin teaching patterns with the AB concept. You do not want to overwhelm them with too many objects at once. Let them watch as you build the pattern and name each object once the pattern is built.
Repeat each object’s name while pointing. Then do it again and state what is to come next. “Red next is Blue next is Red.” When you reach the end ask what would the next item or in this example, the color would be.
It’s okay if they don’t understand!
If they don’t understand what you are trying to teach them don’t force it but continue to help them through the process. Keep working on the concept and they will eventually understand.
Once they know a simple pattern
Remember to start small with your child and work up to each pattern form. Once they understand an AB form they can progress to another form. Instead of selecting a new form to try, test them by adding an additional item to the sequence and repeat the same teaching process over again. Red, Blue, Red turns into Red, Blue, Green, Red, etc.
After they acknowledge the concept you presented them with, they should be ready to try other pattern forms.
Need ideas for hands-on pattern building?
Check out this list of 35 pattern ideas to use for hands-on learning fun!
- Wooden Blocks
- Action Figures
- Colored Hair Ties
- Finger Paint
- Pipe Cleaners
- Popsicle Sticks
- Pom Poms
- Gameboard pieces
- Poker Chips
- Colored Paper
- Gummy Bears
- Nail Polish
Looking for more Pattern printables? Check out the flower pot pattern printable!
Looking for another activity to do with the kids? Check out this Horton Hears a Who Craft!