To introduce patterning I often start with using sounds and physical movements, in an ABAB format. Children seem to internalize patterns more easily this way. So, during a farm theme, I might put up an animal pattern strips of cow, duck, cow, duck, cow, duck. And instead of the children saying the animal names we'll say "mooo, quack, mooo, quack, mooo, quack." It's fun and the more fun something is the more apt for the child to stay interested and learn.
During our calendar time we use at least two different colors for our numbers and then clap hands/slap thighs when we are counting. This way they have the visual of the pattern along with the actions or sounds.
When working with patterning I start the children out by first copying an ABAB pattern. Once they begin to copy a pattern in an orderly fashion (matching the pictures is what they are doing) then we begin to ask "what comes next?" This is called extending a pattern. Once they have success with extending then we move to them creating their own ABAB pattern. Most kindergarten patterning work is in the ABAB pattern but I tend to encourage children to take a step further and explore with ABCABC patterns, AABBAABB and so on. Once they grasp the concept of the ABAB pattern, they are on their way and can usually make some pretty extravagant patterns.
Giving a child a container like an icecube tray really helps. And you are practicing 1:1 as you go along and slip in a pair of tongs or tweezers for further fine motor.
With an icecube tray a child can copy, extend, and/or create their own patterns. Here I used pom poms as an example but anything works. Pasta, buttons, erasers, etc
The following is an activity we did during winter (clothing) theme. A scarf from the dollar store and jumbo craft sticks. Obviously, this child understands patterning. He filled the whole scarf multiple times with various patterns.
This next picture made my day! :-) She had already done her pattern task with me and then...
Yes! She was practicing making the letters out of sticks. NO PROMPTING! :-P
Just remember not to "overdo" practicing a skill. A child is more apt to grasp a skill with several "couple minute" tasks vs. spending a LOT of time in one period on it. So with the activity above, they were asked to create two patterns for me then they could used the sticks and scarf as they wished.
Incorporate literacy components throughout your day. :-)
P is for polka dot, pattern, pink/purple, and plate.
Still in during our winter theme weeks. We have a candy cane which is a winter treat.
I used playdough here but in the past they have created their own candy canes with paint or paper scraps.
Someone had a birthday! So, of course, we slipped in some birthday activities.
Straws, pipe cleaners, and craft sticks are a favorite here.
Foam shape beads, purchased from a craft store can turn into a patterning activity.
For those that know us well, you know we attend a 4 day religious convention yearly. Since there is a lot of sitting involved for the kiddos I like to have a few quiet learning activities available. This set I made for my oldest son when he was a three year old. Been used multiple times since.
I like to introduce three dimensional shapes through play and patterning.
Here we had been talking about homes. They copied this pattern and then moved on to extending and making their own. A cylinder and cone made the "round houses". A cube and pyramid made up the "square house". This set was purchased from http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/ and is called "Geometric Shapes Tub".
Don't forget blocks! You can pattern by color, shape, size, and so on.
Or your pegs and pegboards!
This following activity is something we are going to do next week, we are continuing our weather theme.