Stripes, spots, squares and checks - patterns are all around us.
Next time you are out walking with your child look for the patterns around you. A pattern is s ordered and predictable, but it might not be even. It could be bricks in a wall or crooked paving stones. Show your child how some things form patterns.
Look, the slats in the seat make a stripy pattern. A stripe of wood, then a space, a stripe of wood, then a space. That makes a pattern.
See if they can find their own patterns.
You noticed a pattern of squares on the footpath - how long is it? Where does the pattern finish?
Talk to your child about how we make patterns with numbers sometimes, like with odd or even house numbers.
Look together for patterns made by fences, houses, cars, posts or windows on a wall.
Materials you will need
- Your eyes
Patterns happen all around us. Even the routines in a day are patterns. When children learn to recognise patterns they are learning to see order and predict what will happen next. Patterns help us to organise our world.
When children recognise patterns they are learning about how things work together.
Understanding the way things work together helps children to make predictions and develop skills in logical thinking. It helps them to solve problems by looking for the patterns in a situation.
Understanding patterns helps children later when they are learning mathematics, especially algebra.
- Stripe, square, spots, swirls
- This one, that one, this one, that one
- First, next
- Odd, even
- Short, tall, big, small
- Can you find a pattern made of squares? What about one with curves?
- Can you find a pattern that goes for a long way?
Take photos of the patterns you find while you are out walking. You could make a book of patterns.
Three to five year olds
- Look for patterns at home too. The kitchen and bathroom have patterns hidden everywhere.
- Encourage your child to make their own patterns. You could use socks, cars, bowls, or whatever you have at home.
Questions to ask
- How can you make a pattern? Could you use colours or shapes?
Language to use
- Tile, towel, taps
- Blue, white, blue, white