Patterns are important in the world of math and science. They help us to predict what comes next and help us to solve complicated problems. Depending on your child’s age, choose one of the following pattern games.
- For a young child, you can gather toys such as Legos and arrange a 3-part pattern, leaving gaps for your child to fill in, and having him/her decide what comes next. Then have them set up patterns for you to solve.
- For an older child, you can try number patterns, such as find the pattern used for these numbers: 1, 3, 6, 10, 15. Then decide what comes next. (We are increasing the digits added +2, +3, +4, +5, etc.)
- A magician visits the farm but there’s only room in the barn for 22 animals to attend. They line up in the farmer’s driveway in the order of Dog, Cat, Pig, Horse and it repeats all the way down the driveway. The barn door closes after the 22nd animal enters. Which animal is the 22nd to enter? (It’s the Cat! Your child might count it out by each individual animal, but there is a better way, especially as problems become more difficult. Notice that the pattern repeats every 4 animals, so use multiplication to get as close to 22 without going over. 4 x 5 = 20. Almost there –now they can count by individual animal to get to 22, the Cat. Why 4 x 5? Four animals per group x 5 groups have entered.)
These are just a few ideas to use with your child. Make up your own and as always:
Have fun with math!