Looking for a preschool patterns activity? Check this out.
Patterns are da’bomb. I love making patterns, I love teaching patterns, give me all the patterns. Preschoolers love patterns too so good thing I’m not alone. This preschool patterns activity was a perfect invitation to play with patterns – and he’s going to need this knowledge for his future school life.
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What’s so great about patterns?
Um…. everything is great about patterns. Patterns are amazing. Actually, what patterns are the foundation of math work that our children will do throughout their lives.
When a child is working with patterns, they are:
- thinking logically
- using reasoning skills
- critically thinking about a situation
In fact, math is often call the “science of patterns”, but sadly, patterns were left out of the Common Core Standards for Kindergarten and First Grade.
Wait…how would that happen?
I have no idea. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that patterning is a massively important skills for children to learn and highly beneficial later in their math lives. It really is mind boggling that introducing and playing with patterns would be left out of early childhood education standards.
But good news.
Patterns are an easy skill to teach at home and to bring into your every day life. This incredibly complex skill is actually really simple to begin teaching in the preschool years.
You’ve got this. You can cover the patterns gap.
Make Pattern Snakes with your preschooler
My son loves patterns – they are his jam. I started introducing patterns with him around age 2 but it really wasn’t until almost age 4 that he was ready to developmentally grasp making, changing, and extending patterns.
Pattern snakes is a fun, easy activity to help your child work on extending patterns.
Here’s what you’ll need for pattern snakes
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Roll out your butcher paper and draw on some snakes. Clearly, these do not have to be award winning snake (ex: have you seen my snakes? At least your snake drawings won’t be all over the InterWeb.)
The types of patterns you’ll want to make
When we talk about patterns with preschoolers, we are talking about simple patterns. We name these patterns ABAB or AABB, for example. That might be red yellow red yellow or red red yellow yellow.
For my son, I used dot stickers to begin the patterns on his snakes.
I made sure to repeat the pattern twice. I did this because part of patterning is being able to define what part is repeating. Although we aren’t asking this of our preschoolers, it’s important that they see that “blue blue yellow yellow” isn’t a pattern until it is “blue blue yellow yellow blue blue yellow yellow”. It must repeat.
My son loved making his pattern snakes
He loved finishing the dot sticker patterns and reading them back to me at the end.
We sat together when he was done and went over each pattern – then I asked simple questions about the patterns:
- “Which pattern did you like best?”
- “Which pattern was the trickiest?”
- “What comes next in this pattern?”
Why did I make them snakes?
I made pattern snakes because the stickers look enough like snake markings to make it fun and because I wanted there to be a “stop” to each pattern. I didn’t want my preschooler working to the millionth place on a pattern. He needed a boundary / guideline.
Patterns are a big part of preschool, and an easy one to work on at home. This preschool patterns activity is a fun and easy way to play and learn a very important skill.