Mastering the most basic math skills at an early age can give your child an advantage later on in his or her educational career. While some parents think that preschool-aged children are too young to start grasping math concepts, these children can easily learn about patterns.
Being able to recognize patterns is a skill that will make more advanced math concepts easier, so working with your preschool-aged child on pattern recognition can be beneficial. Here are three fun activities you can do with your child to help reinforce pattern recognition in the future.
1. Have your child parrot a pattern back to you.
In order to help your child begin to see patterns in the world around him or her, it can be beneficial to start by having your child parrot a pattern back to you. Using buttons in two different colors allows you to create a pattern that your child can repeat.
Place buttons in alternating colors on the ground, then have your child repeat the color pattern back to you. Explain that you are creating a pattern of alternating colors, and have your child repeat this concept back to you.
2. Have your child anticipate a pattern.
Using an ice cube tray and the same colored buttons you used to get your child to parrot a pattern back to you, it's possible to have your young child anticipate a pattern. Start by placing alternating colors of buttons into each slot in a single row of the ice cube tray. Allow your child to fill in the second row by matching the button-color pattern you have created.
Once your child is able to mirror the pattern you have created, take the learning process one step further by asking your child to anticipate the pattern. Fill two slots in the ice tray with buttons, one of each color. Before filling the third slot, ask your child which button color should come next. This activity will help you child reinforce the fact that there is a pattern in the order in which the buttons are used.
3. Have your child create a pattern.
As soon as your child is able to anticipate the next component in a specified pattern, try having your child create a pattern on their own. Being able to successfully create a pattern on their own will help your child be more aware of the patterns around them.
Pattern recognition plays a key role in solving math equations and learning to read, so giving your child the opportunity to develop pattern recognition skills at a young age will better prepare them for the rigors of a formal education.
Work with your preschooler on mastering pattern recognition by using colored buttons to create fun, pattern-centric activities. For more information on how to help your preschooler at home, talk to a preschool like Wooden Shoe Pre-School & Pre-Kindergarten.