Patterns are early algebra, plus they give us the power to predict what's going to happen next--strong stuff for preschoolers!
Today's Topic: Patterns
small sticky notes in a variety of colors
buttons, beads, lids from drink bottles, colored pasta or anything else that could be made into a pattern
rubber stamps and stamp pads
Pattern fish / Harris, Trudy
(This book was perfect for today's topic! It had rhythmic patterns, color and shape visual patterns, built in the "what comes next" concept seamlessly and even had a bit of a plotline!)
What Kids Do:
Although I have no photos of it, we started our pattern practice off with some interactive patterning. I sang a tonal pattern and they repeated it back to me, we also repeated a clap/tap pattern and a shake/jingle pattern (with bells and shaker eggs). We also arranged the group into a tall/short pattern (i.e. grown-up/child) and did some full-body patterning with jumping and stomping.
we also played with wooden shape magnets:
Variations to try:There are SO many fun ways to play with patterns! Here are a few other ideas that we didn't get to try today:
--skewer red and green grapes on wooden skewer in a pattern
--string snacks-with-a-hole (pretzels, fruit loop cereal, etc.) on a length of yarn to make a snacklace!
--create simple garlands with office supply stickers and string (stick the same shapes back-to-back, sandwiching the string in between)
--go on a pattern hunt in the library (floor tiles, clothing people are wearing, wallpaper, etc.). If you had the means, this would be a great opportunity to tie in a bit of traditional technology by giving children a digital camera to record the pattern they saw!
Edited 5/22 to add another great picture book about patterns: Beep, Beep, Vroom, Vroom by Stuart J. Murphy