It is very important for preschoolers to have the ability to extend patterns and to make their own. We practice this skill throughout the year.
Practicing patterns can be done easily at home. Your child can help you while you set the table for dinner. Make a pattern using silverware. Fork. Spoon. Fork. Spoon. What comes next?
Patterns can be very simple and can be more complicated. You can try making patterns while watching a tv show. During a commercial, mute the volume on your tv. Then make a clapping or stomping pattern. Ask your preschooler to imitate it and then extend the pattern. Or, you can ask them to come up with their own pattern.
Another advantage to practicing patterns is that you can practice counting at the same time. After completing a pattern using socks, you can count all of the white socks or the black socks. You can make a pattern using pieces of construction paper and then count how many you have of each color.
Mrs. Marx is a preschool teacher at Epiphany Catholic Elementary School in Chicago, IL.