Learn how to teach pattern recognition with your preschooler or kindergartener by playing fun preschool pattern games with magnetic tiles! Pattern recognition is an important cognitive skill which allows children to notice and replicate patterns, which makes this a great STEM activity.
Super simple STEM activity coming at you this week from your hostess with the most-ess, Marissa from Squirrels of a Feather!
So what is STEM and why should you care about it?
STEM is an acronym that stands for “Science + Technology + Engineering +Math”. STEM activities have become a big focus nationwide encouraging children to focus and develop these academic skills at an early age.
Pattern recognition involves children being able to observe, analyze, continue, and replicate patterns — it is an important skill in developing everything from speech and language to mathematical problem-solving.
Today I am going to teach you how to teach pattern recognition using common magnetic tiles and make STEM learning with your child FUN!
How to play preschool pattern games with magnetic tiles
Here is how to use magnetic tiles to play preschool pattern games and teach your child pattern recognition skills. This game is suitable for children around ages 4-7; difficulty level can be varied.
What you need:
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All you need for this pattern recognition activity is magnetic tiles and your imagination! Make sure you have enough tiles so that your child can repeat the patterns that you lay out.
1. Lay out a pattern
Decide what kind of pattern you want to work on and lay out the pattern.
Here is an example of two simple beginner patterns. The letter corresponds to the color and/or shape pattern that is being repeated with the tiles.
2. Have your child try and match the pattern
After laying out the pattern, now it is your child’s turn to try and copy the pattern themselves. Have them lay out the pattern below the first pattern.
My 6 year old son needed a bit of help in figuring out how to copy this pattern seen below (I told him he needed to differentiate between solid tiles and ones with holes in them).
(This pattern would be considered an A-B-A-C pattern!)
3. Repeat and adjust to their level
Once they have mastered repeating patterns in lines, you can switch up the shapes of the patterns!
Try having your child copy shapes like squares with different colors or varying shapes and patterns.
You can even see if they can replicate three-dimensional shapes like this 3D cube! (It has 6 squares, and each of square on the opposite side is the same color – orange across from orange, blue across from blue, and green across from green.)
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Marissa is the creative mastermind behind Squirrels of a Feather, a lifestyle blog that shares fun and frugal hacks for people with hectic lives (i.e., everyone with a pulse). When she isn’t focused on keeping her two rambunctious boys fed and alive, she enjoys organizing, cooking, and brainstorming new and inventive ways to use a glue gun. Marissa is a certified trash whisperer who also speaks fluent KonMari. Her mantra is “If you’ve got a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.”
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