Math Helping Your Five-Year-Old Identify and Predict Patterns

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 exploring these ideas now will set the stage for bigger math ideas later. Your child is ready for more challenging patterns this age. Five-year-olds can often begin to represent patterns abstractly, and they can figure out what comes next or what's missing in a pattern.

Support your child's growing understanding of patterns:

Make Playdough Patterns

Use playdough to create lots of different-colored balls. Play with your child to create repeating patterns like yellow, green, blue, yellow, green, blue, etc. Then have your child cover her eyes. Take one ball away (leaving an empty space). When your child opens her eyes, have her try to guess which color is missing. Say the pattern out loud with her to help her figure it out. Your turn to guess what's missing next!

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.

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Write Sound Patterns

First, create a sound pattern with your child, such as clap, clap, stomp, clap, clap, stomp, etc. Then show your child how you can write that pattern down using colors to represent it, such as red circle, red circle, blue circle; red circle, red circle, blue circle, etc. Once your child understands this, have her write her own sound patterns for you to try!

Peg + Cat Big Gig

In this fun app featuring Peg + Cat and their friends, children ages 3 to 6 can practice math skills by learning and creating songs.

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Weave a Placemat

Some kids learn better using their hands. Why not create a placemat with your child using the "over" and "under" pattern? Simply cut slits that are one inch apart on one piece of construction paper. Then use a different color to create one-inch strips. Weave each strip over and under the strips on the other paper to make a checkerboard pattern. Patterns can be beautiful and functional, too!

Making Paper Chains

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.

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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.

Oscar's Trash Collection

Oscar needs help sorting his trash. Your child can help Oscar by sorting the trash onto shelves according to shape, color or pattern.

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Help Your Child Learn to Love Math with Peg + Cat

Through engaging stories and comedy, Peg + Cat encourages your child to see math as exciting, accessible, and fun. The show teaches measurement, shapes and patterns, and problem-solving skills that children can use in their everyday lives.

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Activity Finder: Learn With Your Five-Year-Old

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