Once you start looking for patterns, you will see them everywhere. There are patterns in colors, shapes, sounds, dances and even daily routines! Recognizing patterns is a skill that translates directly into algebraic thinking, so by exploring these ideas now, you will be setting the stage for bigger math ideas later. Young children can explore very simple repeating patterns in a "monkey-see, monkey-do" fashion. Encourage your child to copy patterns that you can make, and then you can copy your child's patterns.
Math Helping Your Two-Year-Old Identify and Predict Patterns
Support your child's ability to recognize patterns:
Dance to Patterns
This age is a great time to explore songs that use movement patterns with songs. Some favorites include "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and "The Wheels on the Bus." If you are adventurous, make up your own dance to a familiar song, adding patterns like jump, clap, spin around, jump, clap, spin around.
Make a Paper Chain to Practice Cooperation
Making paper chains can be a fun way for your child to practice fine motor skills or patterning and can offer an opportunity for two children to practice working together to create a bigger project.Do This Activity
Create Sticker Patterns
Little ones might still lack the fine motor control to draw, but stickers are a great way to create different patterns. A package of foil stars or colorful dots can lead to lots of pattern-play fun. Try red star, blue star, yellow star, red star, blue star, yellow star, etc. Have your child say each color or shape out loud as he places the sticker down.
Make a Card
Your child can express creativity by using backgrounds, stickers, shapes and colors to create and print a greeting card featuring Daniel Tiger and his friends.Play This Game
Build Pattern Block Towers
The next time you and your child build a tower with blocks, try alternating between squares and rectangles, or, if you are using colored blocks, alternate colors, such as blue block, green block, blue block, green block. Have your child copy your tower and then see if you can copy one that she creates.
The Hungry Games
Cookie Monster is collecting gems. Your child can run and jump to help Cookie Monster gather his collection and then play color, shape and pattern games with the gems.Play This Game
Make a Snack: Pattern Necklaces
Using string and fruit-flavored cereal Os, create necklaces with color patterns. Start with something simple, such as two colors repeating. When your child is ready, try more colors for a larger pattern. Then comes the fun part: eating in a pattern!
Curious George Family Activity Booklet
In this activity booklet, parents will find many ideas to help children explore science, engineering, and math skills such as prediction, measurement, and patterns in nature.Do This Activity
Help Your Child Learn to Love Math with Curious George
Curious George is a little monkey who wants to explore and discover new things. Like George, children are always learning! And his interactions with patterns, measurements, and shapes can help your child begin to see math in the world around them.Find Activities
Activity Finder: Learn With Your Two-Year-Old
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Planning and Building a Structure for a Favorite Toy
Building a structure for a stuffed animal or toy car can help your child develop spatial reasoning skills and better understand length and width.
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Fill It Up!
Experimenting with filling containers up can help your child understand volume. In this game, your child adds water to different containers, but must keep them from overflowing!