Practice patterning the fun way—by playing with your food! Using a Fruit Loop-type cereal and yarn, help your preschooler create crunchy, edible patterns. Start with a simple ABC pattern and work your way to more complicated patterns as she works on small motor skills and her understanding of patterns. And she can nibble while she works.
What You Need:
- Fruit Loops or other loop-shaped cereal in a variety of colors
- Small bowls or cups
- Yarn or string
- Masking tape
What You Do:
- Have your preschooler sort some of the cereal by color, putting each color in a separate bowl or cup. She can also do this on a plate or cutting board.
- Help her cut three pieces of yarn, each just over one foot long. Wrap one end of each piece of yarn with masking tape to create a needle.
- Have her gather groups of cereal pieces in three different colors. Can she lay out an ABC pattern on the table? Get her started threading this pattern onto the yarn. Encourage her to thread at least 6 repeats.
- If necessary, sort more cereal!
- What other patterns can she make? Ask her to again choose three colors of cereal. Now have her string an AA BB CC pattern, again stringing several repeats.
- Now it’s your turn! Choose three different colors of cereal. On the table, lay out an A BB CCC DDDD pattern. Ask your child to describe the pattern to you. Now have her string an A BB CCC DDDD pattern of her own.
When you're all done, strung cereal can be hung outside for the birds or unstrung and munched by your young pattern maker.