Toppings (candies, raisins, sprinkles, mini-marshmallows, small chocolate candies, gumdrops, candy bars broken into small pieces, jelly candy such as gummy worms or bears, jelly beans, etc.)
Small bowls (for toppings)
Here's the perfect treat to please everyone at your child's party! Guests choose their favorite toppings to decorate their very own cupcakes with a fun pattern.
How to Make It:
Bake cupcakes in cupcake cups and frost when cool. Tip: Use food coloring to make different colors of frosting to give kids choices.
Set out small bowls, each with a different topping. Put a teaspoon with each bowl.
Each child decorates his or her own cupcake.
To get kids started, make your own simple pattern (with red and blue gumdrops, for example). Explain what a pattern is something that repeats over and over. Show kids the different toppings and encourage them to make fun patterns on their cupcakes, with a goal of seeing how many different patterns the kids can make when decorating the cupcakes.
Parent pointer: Kids will make lots of different patterns. Some will use different colors to make a pattern, some will use different toppings, and some will use both. That's a double pattern.
Where's the Math?: We teach kids about patterns so that they can analyze change. Recognizing patterns is a kind of algebraic thinking. When something is changing in a regular way, it allows you to make a prediction about what comes next. This is a concept that occurs over and over again in math and in real life.