Dramatic play: Shopping at the hardware store. Rolls of tape of different sizes, golf tees for pretend nails, markers, glue, pieces of wood of different sizes (or unit blocks), ruler, tools, paint brushes, color chips of paint, numbers 1-10, etc. Have at least 10 wood strips of graduating lengths. Have all materials dumped together in a pile. Add number stamps and other object stamps (flowers, animals) and ink pads to the hardware store. Provide paper.
Whatever the adult or children decide to make the adult can suggest making a pattern on it. In order to decide what stamps to buy, they can practice making different patterns on the paper first. Remind the children that a pattern can repeat itself. Suggest they make a pattern using objects, then the object plus one. (e.g., 3 apples + 1 =4, 4 apples + 1 = 5, etc.) Repeat for different numbers of objects by adding one to establish a pattern. Repeat for different numbers of objects by adding two to establish a pattern.
Children should be able to recreate a simple pattern. If the child gets too many different object stamps in a row (the adult may suggest shortening it to two or three).
Patterns can be incorporated into dramatic play in many ways: order of food being served, phone numbers to write on paper, patterns of actions in a sequence, etc. Early childhood educators and parents should encourage recognition of patterns and use math terms when discussing them.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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