I hate going to work during the week & leaving our daughter. It breaks my heart not to be with her all day. Twice a week Mai goes to daycare. Daddy is home with her at least one day during the week because of his rotating schedule & on all other days my mother-in-law watches my favorite girl. It is wonderful that she is able to be in the hands of such capable and attentive people while I am at work. She learns a little from each of them. At times, she will come out with things that surprise me & I wonder “Where did she learn that?” Then I remember that she is surrounded by such wonderful teachers & influencers.
The other day I had on a pair of colorful striped socks. My daughter came over to me & pointed out all of the colors & told me that my socks had a pattern. I was so surprised & excited by her observation. Someone has been teaching her well. Wanting to see how well her understanding of patterns was, we did a couple of activities.
I printed out an assortment of different shapes & clip art from the computer. I cut them out into squares & laid them out on the floor in different patterns. I placed more cut outs in a pile, being sure that there was a shape that would be next in each sequence thrown into the pile.
I handed my daughter the pile & reviewed each line of patterns with her. I asked her to place the next square in each sequence. She did not let me down as she went down the line & successfully placed the next shape on each.
She made a few rows of patterns that she made on her own & then flipped them all over & said “Now let’s play the match game.” That is the thing about toddlers. Their attention spans are short. On to the next lesson…
There are many other things that you can use to teach patterns to your children.
1. Practice using verbal patterns. “owl, horse, dog, owl, horse dog… What’s next?”
2. You can use assorted shapes & textures in your craft bins such as pom poms, beads & craft sticks.
3. Use magnets & alphabet blocks to show number or letter patterns.
4. Use paints, crayons or markers to show color patterns.
5. Legos or building blocks are a fun way to build 3 dimensional patterns.
6. Show them patterns on clothing or quilts.
7. Make snack time a great opportunity to teach patterns with fruit snacks, cereal or different shaped crackers.
She is learning so much & is becoming quite the little smarty. I know that we cannot take the credit for all of this. Mai is very lucky to be surrounded by so many people willing to feed her growing and curious mind.
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