When it comes to learning and kindergarten readiness, did you know that pattern activities are great for brains and for fun? The human brain is hard-wired for patterns. Patterning makes information easier to learn and condenses it so it is smaller to remember. For example, in the pattern skeleton, spider; skeleton, spider; instead of remembering the position of each object the brain only has to recall which one comes first. The whole sequence can be built from the pattern, plus more can be added.
A dollar store bag of some plastic Halloween pieces was not just a bargain in terms of cost, but it was also a good deal for learning and fun. The four year old hands busily created all kinds of patterns: orange spider, black bat; orange spider, black bat. Patterns can range from very simple ones using 2 different groups of objects to very complex one using 3, 4 and more in order. Sometimes, there is a pattern hiding inside another. Did you see in this one there are 2 colors and 2 shapes?
Young toddlers may not be particularly interested in the repeating part, but parents and caregivers can casually make some patterns as kids play. Gradually, children will become interested and begin making their own. A fun game is to make a pattern with 1 mistake and see if the other person can find the mistake. Adults can start a pattern and see if kids can figure it out and add what comes next. There’s lots of ways to play with patterns.What patterns can you and your child find for some Halloween fun?