Patterns are everywhere

First 5 Forever Cloud White

“Put a stripe over here and a stripe over there, put a lot of little stripes in the air everywhere! It’s a stripey kind of day!”

Do you know this song? It's a popular children’s rhyme that highlights the stripes and patterns all around us if we look. When you're out and about with your little one, point out the different patterns you can see. It might be:

  • shapes like circles in road signs or the rectangles in windows and doors
  • spots you notice in signage or advertising, or on the wings of a ladybird
  • stripes formed by shadows or buildings, or in the fur of a cat
  • squiggles made by snails or insects in dirt or on leaves

What do you notice around you?

Taking time to notice and talk about these patterns with your child increases their vocabulary and is an important skill for them to learn before they can learn to read and write.

When a child learns to read, they start to find patterns or similarities in letters and words and will use this information to group words together (like cat, bat, mat)

Noticing and talking about patterns in the world around has a range of benefits for your child

Young children often learn through what they can see or touch. You can help develop this skill by having different objects or patterns that are the same or different for them to touch and feel, and talking about what makes them similar or different.

Try playing a game by describing patterns, shapes or things that are the same and see if your child can guess the object. Even a walk down the street will be a new experience once you notice all the shapes and patterns in buildings.

Books that highlight patterns

Board books are a great way of introducing this concept to young babies.

Patterns of Australia by Bronwyn Bancroft

Spots and dots by Chez Pitchall

Elmer by David McKee

My first book of patterns by Bobby and June George

Animal patterns by Little Bee Books

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