A strong understanding of patterns is an incredible asset to your child’s future academic development. Patterns can be seen across nearly all subject areas in school – including Science, English, and Math – and the early ability to recognize, extend, and predict patterns will give your child an advantage as they journey through their school years.
At your preschooler’s age, you should focus on patterns that are comprised of shapes, sizes, or colors set in simple repetition: dog-cat-dog-cat, big-big-little-big-big-little, blue-red-green-blue-red-green. As your child grows they will learn that patterns can also be made up of numbers (10, 20, 30, 40…), and may begin to recognize that patterns can be found everywhere: nature, poetry, and even human behavior.
Using the calendar to introduce patterns is a great way to not only teach the basic concept of how a pattern works, but also to teach them other pattern-related skills:
- pattern unit (the part that repeats iteself)
- predicting patterns (what comes next?)
- extending patterns (continuing it beyond the next step)
- recognize patterns in their environment
- copying patterns
- identify a hidden or missing part of a pattern
- creating patterns
- identifying growing patterns (one block, two blocks, three blocks, etc.)
- identifying repeating patterns
- use patterns to solve problems
From my experience in the classroom, identifying and predicting patterns on the calendar was one of my students’ favorite activities. Tomorrow I’ll get into how to teach them with the calendar, but for today here’s a video about patterns that you and your preschooler can watch together. 🙂