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 at this age. Six-year-olds can often begin to represent patterns abstractly, and they can figure out what comes next or what’s missing in a pattern.
Math Helping Your Six-Year-Old Identify and Predict Patterns
Support your child's growing understanding of patterns:
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!
Curious George combines art and music in this game. Your child can change the color and size of the paint splatters to create music notes and form a painted song.Play This Game
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!
Your child can play Virtual Goose just like Arthur and his friends. In this fast-paced game, your child can practice matching colored shapes and patterns to their rotated matches.Play This Game
Play Hand-Clapping Games
Hand-clapping games (like "Miss Mary Mack," etc.) are often played on playgrounds by kids around this age. It may look like she is just having fun with her friends, but your child is actually using repeating and growing patterns!
Prunella loves to dance. Your child can dance with her by printing dance cards and then using the cards to choreograph new dance combinations.Do This Activity
Build a Staircase of Blocks
Using blocks, create a two-block tower. Then, next to that tower, create a three-block tower. Have your child help you continue to make a "staircase" of blocks by increasing the towers by one. Now you are creating a growing pattern! See if you can challenge your child to create staircases that grow by two — or start with a tall tower and build the staircase down instead of up.
Playing with Patterns
Playing with patterns can be fun. Try these four activities with your child to practice patterning skills.Do This Activity
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.Find Activities
Activity Finder: Learn With Your Six-Year-Old
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Math and Sports: Tips for Parents
Sporting events offer many opportunties to practice early math skills. Here are some tips for how to engage your child in the fun of sports while reinforcing important math concepts like making and interpreting diagrams and making predictions.
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Peg + Cat Tree Problem
Peg and Cat's spirited and playful antics engage children in learning math concepts while having an awesome time! This app offers a series of games designed to help your child practice creative problem-solving and height comparison skills.
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In this one or two player game, you and your child can play along with Daniel Tiger as he finds matching pairs of pictures featuring barnyard animals. Be sure to look for special cards that offer an extra challenge of identifying animals based on their outline or the noise they make.