5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (2)

In 5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (1), there are two toys we can use to make children learn about pattern. Here are another toys  & games/activities children can do.

3. Foam Beads Toy: Jewelry Seller Pretend Play

To do the pretend play, we need :

  1. Foam Beads

Foam Beads2. Play Money

Play Money

Children can use the foam beads to make bracelet or necklace. Ask them to arrange the beads in pattern. To make this activity more fun, ask children to do pretend play as jewelry seller. Add the play money to make the pretend play more exciting.  We act as a customer and choose the bracelet and necklace which are arranged in patterns only. So, when  the beads are not arranged in pattern, children will know.

Note: The activity is great for 4 years old children and above as we’re not giving them example to follow. At this age, children (if they have learned and practiced since previous age) have been able to create their own pattern. The chance to create their own pattern will strengthen their ability.

4. Bricks toy

Many patterns can be created from bricks. To make the pattern creation from bricks fun, we can use the pattern achievement activity as the lacing beads and the building block toys or do something else.

Here’s what we can do. Ask children to follow or create their  own pattern. After they finish, ask them to take picture of the patterns they’ve made. Then, ask them to write the patterns (This can be done for 4 or 5 years old children who are already able to write. This can be a way to practice their writing as well).

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After that, put it on the scrapbook or hang the pictures of the patterns they’ve made on the wall. So, all family members and friends who visit our home can see. Hanging children’s creation is a way which shows our appreciation to children’s ability. And this  will make them want to create more patterns.

Kids Art Wall Hanging  Kids Art Wall Displaying

Ways to show children’s creation

5. Design & Drill Activity Center


Children, especially boys, are going to love the game as they can make patterns by using power drill, wrench and brightly-colored bolts. There are patterns cards included in the game. So, we don’t have to make the patterns example for children. They can follow the cards and later create their own patterns. To make the activity more exciting, we can take the video when they do the activity. Share it to family members. Then, don’t forget to praise for their great works in following and creating patterns. This will make them want to do the activity again and again. The more they play, the more they can practice making patterns.

That is all. The toys and games/activities which will stimulate children to learn recognizing and creating patterns. Hence, there’s one thing we should keep in mind. Our involvement and appreciation are the key elements which will make children stimulated and encouraged. So, let’s patterning with them  🙂

Related posting: 5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (1)

5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (1)

Recognizing and creating pattern abilities can be practiced through play. To do that we need the toys which can be used to stimulate both abilities. Hence, giving the toys only to children and let them play those by themselves, sometimes is not enough. We have to create games/activities which will make children stimulated and encouraged to recognize and create patterns.

Here are the toys and the games/activities :

  1. Lacing Beads Toy: Beads Pattern Achievement Activity 

Abacus Lacing Beads

The basic way to play it is by putting the beads one by one onto the lace. The beads can be arranged in certain pattern or not. The arrangement of beads is basically depended on children’s likeness. But, if we want to use the toy to make children learn to recognize and create pattern, there’s an activity we can do. I call it Pattern Achievement Activity.  To do it, we have to prepare:

  1. Lacing beads toy
  2. Pattern Achievement Board. We can print it or just draw it on the paper. Below is an example of the board. It’s made based on the lacing beads toy above which may not be the same with your lacing beads. So, create patterns based on the toys you have.

Pattern Achievement Board3. Reward (You can decide the kind of reward which is given to children)

How to play it:  We just have to ask children to follow the patterns shown on the board. After they finish, mark stamp or put sticker on the reward column. Then, hang the board where all family member can see. So, children can tell the achievement they have done to the whole family and be appreciated of what they have done. The appreciation will make them stimulated and encouraged to practice more patterns.

Note: This activity can be given start from 3 years old. It’s because at this age children have recognized the attributes they need to know before making pattern such as: colors and shapes. As for children above 3 years old, we can create more complex patterns. Therefore, their ability will be improved.

2. Building Block Toy: Building Block Pattern Achievement Activity

The activity children can do to recognize and create pattern with the building toy is basically the same as above. The things we need are:

  1. Building toy

100 Wooden Block Set

2. Pattern Achievement Board (The patterns on the board are made based on the 100 piece wooden block set with carrying bag)

Building Toy Pattern Achievement Board

3. Reward

4. Timer/ alarm clock

How to play it: It’s basically the same as playing the beads above. But to add the fun and difficulty, we can spread the blocks on the floor. So, children have to find the blocks they need before they follow the pattern on the board. As for 4 years old children, there’s another thing we can do to add the difficulty, other than giving more complex patterns. We can limit the time. So, they have to follow all patterns on the board in limited time. We can use the timer/ alarm clock. If we do not use timer or alarm clock, we can count until certain numbers. For example: we count from 1 up to 50 or 100.

The limitation of time will make children a bit pressured in doing the task. The pressure can make them give more effort to find the blocks and arrange the blocks match with the pattern on the board. And this will boost their ability. Other than that, the limitation of time will make children learn to handle the pressure (time limit) in doing the task. This is a good ability to be achieved too. However, do not give a very limited time as children will be pressured a lot which they may not be able to handle (the pressured feeling) yet. The time limit is only the second factor in the recognizing pattern activity. Keep remember that the main goal of the activity is to make children able to recognize the pattern, not to handle the pressure.

Continue to 5 Great Toys & Games for Learning Pattern (2)

Recognizing Pattern: The Useful Ability in Doing Math Problems

          Have you in a situation where your children need much time doing math worksheet which you think is quite easy to do by them as they’ve done and practiced it many times? The worksheet example is like in the picture below!

Addition Worksheet

In the worksheet above, children can actually answer  some additions without having to add all of the addition one by one. Some children can do it after they do addition at least  three numbers. They can predict the answer of the next addition. It’s because they figure out that the answer for the next addition is the next number in the number sequence. Hence, there are some children who can’t make the prediction. Though they have done that kind of worksheet many times. We may wonder why they can’t do that. If this happens to our children, there’s one possibility why they are not able to do it. It’s because they can’t recognize the pattern in the worksheet.

          Children, who can predict the answer of the next question, realize (after they do the addition at least 3 or 4 numbers (It depends on children’s ability)) that there is pattern in the worksheet above. The pattern is the sequence of numbers on the column after plus sign. So, when they have to add one more to the the sequence of numbers, the answer is basically the sequence of numbers too. On the contrary, children who can’t predict the answer, do not realize the pattern. And this may lead to a question why they can’t see the pattern. There are some possibilities reasons for that:

  1. They are still lack in the ability of recognizing pattern which may be caused by the lack of chance to practice recognizing and making pattern in previous age.
  2. The lack of recognizing pattern of abstract thing. Number is something abstract as it actually a symbol which represent the amount of concrete things. Recognizing the pattern of symbol is more difficult than recognizing the pattern of concrete things as it requires more complex thinking process.

          If the situation above happens to our children, do not force them to exercise the worksheet over and over. It’s better if we ask them to do activities which will improve their ability in recognizing pattern first. Here are the activities children can do:

  1. Ask children to play the toys which will make them able to practice recognizing and making pattern.

Abacus Lacing Beads

In the beginning, we ask them to follow the pattern we make. Start from the simple pattern. For example: arrange the beads with the two beads pattern consist of red & yellow beads. After our children have been able to follow the simple pattern, ask them to follow difficult pattern. Keep doing it until they are able to recognize kinds of pattern. Then, ask them to create their own patterns. This will strengthen their ability in recognizing pattern as it requires more thinking process. They have to relate the knowledge they have and combine it with the recognizing pattern ability to make their own pattern. So, they not only become a pattern follower only but a creator as well. The creating process activates more neurons in the brain. The more neurons are activated, the more brain is stimulated. And this makes children absorb and learn more.

2. Ask children to do the worksheet which requires them to guess what comes next by seeing the pattern. At first, give them worksheet which shows the concrete things such as animal, shapes, daily things, etc.

Pattern Worksheet

3. Ask children to do the worksheet which requires them to write symbols such as letters & numbers.

       Letter Pattern Worksheet     Number Pattern Worksheet

4. Ask children to do the worksheet which requires them to recognize patterns in math such as fill in the missing number worksheet, skip counting, or other math worksheets which the level difficulty is still below the addition worksheet as in the example above.

Math Worksheet

          The activities above are arranged in steps from easy to difficult. Ask children to do the activities from the very basic which is very important to do. So, we can check the root of children’s lack ability. When we think our children have mastered the basic step well, that’s the time we can move on to the next step. Let them master it before continuing to another step. By mastering each steps, children won’t miss any recognizing patterns exercise.

          When children’s ability in recognizing pattern is better, it will be easier for them to recognize pattern in math problem which they will see not only in addition, but further math learning such as subtraction, multiplication, division and many more. So, come on! Let’s ask our children to do many activities which will improve their ability in recognizing patterns as it will be useful in doing math problems. 🙂