Patterning activities are the plays-of-the-day for basic learning and some kindergarten readiness fun. As children grow and develop their brains have to cope with enormous quantities of information. One of the strategies that helps is that of patterning. A pattern shrinks the amount of information into a much smaller chunk.
Patterning is something the brain does naturally. As babies learn to crawl, they use a left-right, left-right pattern. Every language has a pattern of sounds and rhythm. Music also has an underlying pattern. So does nature, day in and day out, not to mention seasons, and years. Besides natural patterns, people create patterns.
A few patterning activities for young children are singing, marching, books, stories, and playing with toys. Kids can look around for patterns; often there is a pattern on tee-shirts or sweaters. Dishes sometimes have a pattern. Children can create patterns with toys such as car–block, car–block and so on. Big wooden beads can go on a shoelace in a pattern. Lots of crafts have patterns. Try some body patterns: walk, walk, walk, hop; walk, walk, walk, hop.
Older children are able to make more complex patterns and will point them out to adults! What kind of patterning activity might your child like today?