Are you familiar with the AB pattern practice? It sounds like a funny name, doesn’t it? An AB pattern is just one of the many different patterns we can introduce to our preschoolers.
The first time I introduced pattern practice to my preschooler was around two years old. He was not ready.
How did I know he wasn’t ready? He was not following me when I shared the AB pattern. What did I do? Put it away.
Now, at three years old, he is beginning to grasp the repetition of patterns, so we began this AB pattern practice. An AB pattern repeats itself. For example, purple, red, purple, red, etc.
After some practice and success, I wanted to share with you this AB pattern practice I worked on with my three-year-old so you can try it at home.
RELATED: Looking for simple activities to keep at home? Check out our activity cards!
- Markers – I like to give my kids a range of colors for their pattern practice because it helps their vocabulary, plus it’s more fun!
- Plus Plus – BIG size – I LOVE anything oversized. I don’t know why, but it makes any activity more exciting, you know? Well, maybe you don’t, but try these, trust me!
- White Paper Roll – Where would I be without my good old trusty paper roll? This is our all-time favorite and is great to use for pattern practice.
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How to Set Up Pattern Practice
Step 1. Draw out boxes and color them in.
Create boxes in horizontal rows and color each box with your AB pattern (e.g. green red, green red). Make sure you use the same two colors to create the pattern practice.
Step 2. Put the correct amount of Plus Plus pieces alongside each pattern.
Plus Plus pieces are big colored shapes your child will use to match the same color piece to the same color boxes. You want to give your child a helping hand by making sure there is the right number of pieces for them to choose from.
Step 3. Allow your child to begin and complete the pattern practice.
As your preschooler puts a matching color into the box, say aloud the color. This will help your preschooler hear the AB repetition. “red, green, red, green…”
Each time your preschooler grasps a small object, they are also strengthening small hand muscles and preparing their hands for pencil grip when ready to write.
PRO TIP: I drew dots to show my preschooler how to begin his pattern practice on the left and move to the right.
Step 4. Extend the AB pattern.
Is your preschooler on a roll? Draw extra uncolored boxes to the end of the pattern’s row, then ask your preschooler, “Which color do you think should come next?”
RELATED: Keeping kid activities at home simple and fun is the key to learning!
Why Work on Patterns with your Preschooler?
By Kindergarten, children will be asked to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, along with being asked to attend to precision.
Pattern practice in preschool will help your children with these concepts listed above down the road. We can do simple pattern activities to help expose children to math concepts at home through play.
Curious how math and reading is trending? Read this NAEP report to learn more.
What Patterns Can I Do With Preschoolers?
Patterns can follow a few sequences:
RELATED: Did you know? Grasping small toys such as these Plus Plus pieces also helps improve fine motor strength!
Keep Practicing Patterns!
Remember, preschool is a time to introduce, not necessarily master. Run with the concepts that click. Return later to the concepts that need more time and try starting with this AB pattern practice!
Looking for More Pattern Activities?
Frequently Asked Questions
AB patterns repeat two things. Teach AB patterns by showing the pattern with objects and saying the repeated pattern out loud. For example if I have blue and purple objects I would say, blue, purple, blue, purple, etc.
An AB pattern in math is a pattern that repeats every other color/object, etc.
Use stickers, counting bears, coins, colored paper clips, mini erasers, or colored chips from a board game.