Halloween is a sweet time of year, not just because of the candy, but because of the fun and learning that helps support children’s development and kindergarten readiness. In some dollar store bins I found some acrylic fall and Halloween decorations. These are fun for lots of different activities.
Once we had found the invisible tape and opened the boxes, I used 2 different color leaves and showed Big Sister a pattern: red leaf, brown leaf; red leaf, brown leaf, red leaf…. She added a brown leaf and then continued with the pattern across the counter and around the corner to the edge.
When I got the other two boxes open, I tried a little more complicated pattern: 2 orange pumpkins, 2 yellow acorns; 2 orange pumpkins, 2 yellow acorns. Big Sister had her own ideas and corrected me, “That’s not a pattern.” Instead, we tried using all of the items: acorn, brown leaf, pumpkin, red leaf; acorn, brown leaf, pumpkin, red leaf. That was as far as we got. It was interesting to use 2 items, but she wasn’t yet ready for other variations.
Patterning is a fundamental skill or strategy for learning. The advantage of patterns is that they reduce the amount of information that minds need to remember. Information in big quantities can be overwhelming. Adults are not the only ones that feel information-overload, kids do too. A pattern condenses information. Patterning is a natural skill. Crawling and walking use the pattern of left-right, left-right, left-right. Music, songs and stories are certainly patterns. In order to figure out patterns, kids need lots of experiences and opportunities to play with patterns. What other Halloween items can kids use for patterning activities?