Sunday, March 24, 2013

Patterns, an impromptu lesson

Patterns are everywhere in our life. They are particularly useful in science and are often used to make predictions about what will happen (aka hypotheses). If you can see what is happening, you can use that knowledge to your advantage. It's a great way to start guessing about what's going to happen or come next.

The greatest thing about patterns is that they are super easy to come by. You can make many patterns with pieces of paper (colored, textured, etc), blocks (different shapes and colors), beads, colored pencils/crayons, toys (blue car, red car, blue car...), food (beans, pasta, fruit, veggie, etc), silverware, straws (big straw, little straw, bendy straw), and many more. So next time you're bored waiting somewhere, see if you can challenge your youngin' with what you have at your disposal. Create a pattern and see if they can continue. You can also use a pattern while stacking (I've been known to play the tower game at restaurants back in my day - I haven't yet introduced J to some of my childhood shenanigans).

Here's our short lesson on patterns (which turned into about an hour of pattern making/completing):

Two weeks ago, we were walking home from lunch and found a big box of free items up for grabs. There were lots of books and games. This particular box caught my eyes:

It's definitely not an English game, but it looks like Domino's. I figured this would be fun for science (cause and effect - totally didn't think about patterns).

J immediately requested we played, but it wasn't in the "let's set it up like the picture on the box" way. There were four colors, and J wanted me to make patterns for him to complete.

I tried to convince him that we can make patterns and still build things to knock down too.

Then we found the bobble people the game came with. I think their sole job is to knock things down.

This was one of our more fun evenings over the past few weeks. I'm thankful for this gem of a game we found.

What are some of the ways you have used patterns in your family?

1 comment:

  1. What a cool find! I think my family had a set like this (minus the bobble guys) when I lived in France. I have a vague memory...

    My kids love finding patterns. And pattern blocks (the shape ones) are one of my all-time favorite toys!