Pattern Train

We’re starting off on our first thematic unit–transportation!

Patterning is a very concept for young children. It sets the groundwork for recognizing patterns in numbers in later years. It also helps children learn the skill of making predictions when we ask them, “What comes next?”.

Here’s how you can make a pattern train with your little one!

1. What you’ll need:  construction paper, dot stickers (like the ones you use for garage sale tagging), and tape (not shown).

2. Cut a piece of construction paper into 3 pieces.

3. Start out a simple A-B pattern. Don’t actually use the term “A-B pattern” with your child, it will only confuse her–use the color of the stickers instead (i.e. blue, yellow, blue, yellow).

4. Hand over the paper to your little one and let her continue the pattern.

Big brother surprised me by “predicting” the last 3 colors of the pattern!

5. Once that “train car” is finished, start another pattern (slightly more complex like an A-B-C pattern or an A-A-B pattern). Again, let your child finish the pattern.

Big Brother decided he wasn’t interested in patterns anymore and decided to engage in a little “pretend play” by saying the dot stickers were band-aids on his boo-boos. If a child loses interest in a project, that’s fine…just find a good stopping point and let her go on her merry way. Forcing her would only be frustrating…for both of you!

6. Tape the cars together (tape the front and back so that it is sturdier).

7. Add an engine and a caboose (I am obviously not an artist–I’m sure you can do much better). We chose not to add wheels because I didn’t want it to distract from the pattern. This is totally up to you, though.

One Comment

  1. Awesome idea! thank you so much for everything you post on this blog! I have 4yr old twins and I’ve began working with them on a more steady basis. This blog has been a huge asset for me! It has everything I’m looking for and then some. I will be recommending this site to all my friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *