This past week in tot school, I had the opportunity to introduce and teach patterns to my almost 15 month old. The beauty of being able to teach patterns is that our entire lives revolve around them! What I mean by this is that the basic definition of a pattern is something that repeats and an anticipation of what comes next.
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Supplies to Teach Patterns
Animal Dominoes are a fun way to make a string of patterns. We have an awesome wooden set that my daughter LOVES to play with and they are more fun than the regular “dot dominoes”
My sister-in-law did a shape activity with her kids that she draw dashed shapes and her daughter traced and filled in the blanks. If you do this with different color pencils, there’s an alternating pattern color!
We used a bead lacing game from Melissa & Doug and created different patterns by lacing them on the string.
Ring Stackers are still applicable because of the color order they go in and how they are placed in size order. Our favorite one to use this week was the one from IKEA. We did variations and put them in size order upside down, where each piece was biggest to smallest, where the pieces were smallest to biggest, etc..
Books for teaching patterns
Here are just a few of the wonderful books that we read through the week. We explored many different types of patterns from rhyming books to books that explored patterns in consequences.
Dr. Seuss books are obviously the most popular books that you can use to teach patterns in terms of rhyming!
We also love the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It was great for this theme because it taught consequences and patterns of behavior. There are also several books just like it from Laura Numeroff that are just as appropriate and cute as well!
The Tree Stump (Let Me Read) – This book teaches in an out as well as consequences. It’s also a great book for emergent readers!
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed – This one has great patterns in rhyming and in consequences!
Round and round (The story box) – Another great emergent reader book. Discusses the pattern of around and around and also the consequences of spinning!
Teach Patterns with Activities & Local Places
Cities are great places to explore patterns! In Oklahoma city, we have lots of bridges, sculptures, parks, and more than have great patterns in them. This makes a fun day to get out of the house and look more closely at the city or town in which you live.
Baby bun loved looking at the shadows on the bridges the most!
The same Melissa and Doug shape game from last week, is great for this week! It’s called Melissa & Doug Shape Pattern Blocks and it’s great to use before going on an adventure outside. The pattern blocks help show the patterns of shapes and where we might expect them in what we see everyday.
Find more activities and ideas to teach patterns from Education.com. There are lots of ideas from weaving to making wind chimes!
We had lots of ideas for pattern busy bags. We loved using our sandwich coasters (teaches the pattern that food is layered between bread).
See more ideas by clicking the link above or the picture.
Baby Bun also loved working on fine motor skills with her “to-go” bottles. We arranged cubes in patterns and the she placed them in the bottle in that order (see picture below)
Schedule/Daily Ideas to Teach Patterns
Bible verse of the week: Romans 12:12 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We discussed how we were to live differently from the world and not the same like a pattern would suggest.
- Patterns with colors, Patterns with shapes, etc.
- Use pattern blocks like the Happy and Blessed Home did and create all kind of patterns of your own!
- Get red and green grapes and arrange them in different patterns
- Read books that rhyme, write a poem together, etc.
- When eating, try to find words that rhyme with each food.
Wednesday: Cause & Effect
- Around and round
- “If you drop food on the floor, the dog will eat it”
- “Getting in the bath tub means you will have to dry yourself off”
- “Blowing a kiss, means someone will blow one back”
- “If I climb, I might fall and get hurt”
- Use cookie cutters for instrument and music note-shaped foods
- Listen to music all day! (Implement rhyming into this)
- Keep a beat on drums. Change the beat and pattern.
- Visit a kindermusik class! (We loved this because we kept a beat, worked on “start stop”, and get to play with music shakers.) Thank you Kindermusik and Alma Music Studio for a great experience!)
- Talk about what time you eat each day, when you go to bed, etc. and how it’s a pattern because it happens at the same time or at least in the same order
Saturday: Daily Life
- Talk about the patterns in each of the things we do each day. (Example: Use the bathroom, wipe, flush, close life, wash hands)
Sunday: Around Town
- Look at shadows and the patterns they make
- Find buildings and look at their patterns and symmetry in shapes.
- Find a park. Ours had patterns in music (pipe xylophone), up and down/ back and forth (swing), and others.
- Go for a walk or have a picnic and look at patterns in nature
Find more information on themes we have already completed and download the calendar & planner to start today!
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!