Patterning With Colorful Dots: Fun and Easy Math for Kids
Patterns are all around us - in the designs on our clothing, in sing-song rhymes, and in the chalk drawings we use to create a hopscotch in the driveway! Through games and activities, children can learn to recognize, copy and repeat patterns. Recycle some plastic cups for this fun patterning game!
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As children begin to recognize patterns, they can learn to predict what color or number comes next in a sequence.
In this activity, kids create patterns with colorful dot stickers to play a matching game with disposable cups.
For the game board, I used a wooden slat from a window blind, similar to this one. This provided a long platform on which to lay out a design with stickers. You could also use a long piece of cardboard.
Use a ruler or measuring tape to space the stickers evenly.
Here are a few suggestions for play:
1. Repeat a pattern with sticker dots two or three times on the game board.
Begin with simple patterns for younger children:
blue - yellow - blue - yellow - blue - what comes next?
Kids can follow a sequence you make or create their own patterns.
Add another color as the skill level increases.
2. Place stickers on several disposable cups.
Match the cups to the pattern on the game board. Cover the dot on the board with the cup.
Learning through play
1. Kids can take turns in small group play choosing the next color in the pattern.
2. Encourage kids to name the colors as they are covered by a cup.
3. Extend the play by sorting, counting and stacking cups according to the colored dots.
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