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 :
- Lacing Beads Toy: Beads Pattern Achievement Activity
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:
- Lacing beads toy
- 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.
3. 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:
- Building toy
2. Pattern Achievement Board (The patterns on the board are made based on the 100 piece wooden block set with carrying bag)
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.
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