Creating patterns and sequences are classic early childhood play. So why is these activities important? Because recognizing patterns and sequences lays the groundwork both for reading and mathematics. First let’s look at reading. Words are combinations of letters. But random letters lack meaning. Letters become a word only when arranged in a specific way. Moreover each word is a unique sequence of letters with one or more meanings. Consider the words “bare” and “bear.” Both words use the same four letters. The letters, however, are arranged differently. Consequently the patterns are different. The words are different, each with its own meaning. Since a bear is unlikely to wear clothes, he’s bare.
Numbers Are Patterns Too
The same is true of numbers. Arranged in a specific sequence, numerals form specific numbers. As with letters, each combination is unique. The same numerals arranged in different sequences have different meanings. Consider the difference between 1050 and 5010. Both numbers contain the same numerals. But the sequence is different. Only by recognizing patterns and sequences can we identify words and numbers.
Practice Making Patterns With Pattern Stacker
Children need frequent and varied opportunities to recognize and create patterns. Pattern Stacker invites children to explore three alike but different shapes. While all are round, each shape is a variation of a circle. Each is a different color combination. Combining the pieces in different ways creates different patterns. By arranging and rearranging the pieces children experience how patterns evolve. Pattern Stacker provides open-ended exploration. Children can create horizontal patterns. Then stack pieces in different ways to create vertical patterns. Patterning and stacking develop cognitive and fine motor skills. As well as eye-hand coordination, creative thinking, and spatial awareness. Measures 10 1/4″L x 3 1/2″W x 6 1/2″H.