In kindergarten, children acquire skills that are the foundation for their elementary education. Recognizing, extending, repeating and creating patterns are generally thought of as early math skills, but understanding patterns can also help in reading and writing. Parents should work on kindergarten appropriate pattern activities with their children at home to ensure children acquire these foundational skills.
Whether your kindergartner is learning an instrument such as the piano or can barely sit still long enough to bang on a drum twice, musical patterns can be a fun way to teach your child about patterns. Any simple toy instrument will work such as a tambourine or maracas. If you don't have any toy instruments, use the tabletop as a drum. First, start by making up a pattern of your own. For example, if you use the tambourine, you might try to shake it, then tap it and then shake it. Ask your child to repeat your pattern, then see whether she can describe what you're doing. Next you can let your child create a pattern with the instrument and see whether he can repeat it.
With edible patterns, not only does your kindergartner get to reinforce pattern skills, you get help in the kitchen. You can do this for a snack or a meal or even a treat. Set out several bowls, each containing a different food that your child likes. Then create a pattern of them on your plate such as strawberry, blueberry, apple slice, strawberry, blueberry and apple slice. Encourage your child to copy the pattern on her own plate. Another option would be to let her create her own pattern on her plate and for you to copy it onto a sibling's plate.
Kids in kindergarten love stickers and can usually be trusted not to plaster the walls with them. So try getting several sheets of them, featuring several animals, shapes or other objects. Then encourage children to create a pattern with them. If they've got animal stickers, then maybe they could make a dog, cat, dog, cat pattern across the top of their paper. For more of a challenge, have them recreate the same pattern using animals such as tiger, lion, tiger, lion.
Taking kindergartners on walks is an excellent way to help them learn about the patterns in nature. To incorporate patterns, you can have your child search for them in leaves, fences, buildings or whatever else you see in a walk around your neighborhood. Then you can let your child take a picture of them with your smartphone or you can write down a list for your child.
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