Patterns For 3 Year-old Kids

What Does Algebra Looks Like in Early Years?

It is never too early to start thinking in terms of algebra. Is not that you are going to ask your child of 2 years to solve an algebraic equation, but you can give your son or daughter a solid foundation of algebraic thinking.

Algebra in the early years creates the necessary bases for current and future mathematics learning.


Studies found some interconnected concepts that helps the child develop appropriate and that are very applicable to early education, the first one patterns. Patterns serve as the cornerstone of algebraic thinking.

Working with patterns invites young children to identify relationships and form generalizations. As the name infers, repeating patterns contain a segment that continuously recurs. The segment can vary in size and level of complexity, but the simplest includes just two items.

How can you practice patterns at home? Easy! Here you have some examples you can do at home.

Move The Blocks


  • Blocks (make sure they’re of different colors)

How to play:

You don’t need anything else but blocks, so it’s really easy to work this one. You can propose to your child a pattern and ask him to repeat it. Ex: red-blue-red-blue. Or after you have try this one, ask him/her to create their own. When they have dominated two items pattern try for more.


Fruit Loops Patterns


  • Yarn
  • Fruit Loops

How to play:

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.


Scooping and Pouring


  • 2 bowls
  • Bottle (it can be glass but best plastic)
  • Scoops
  • Rice
  • Food Coloring (at least 2 colors)

How to play:

First, you’ll need to dye the rice, a few cups for each color.  I split a five-pound bag of rice in half and dyed one-part Color 1 and the other Color 2 using a few drops of food coloring. Set the bowls of rice, the bottle in a large carpet or box. (to avoid the mess) Put the scoops in the bowls of rice and invite your preschoolers to come and make patterns while they play!


Marshmallow Patterns


  • Paint
  • Bowls
  • Marshmallows
  • Paper

How to play:

Try making patterns using marshmallows, it is a ton of fun plus students are strengthening their claw grasp when they stamp the marshmallows. If your marshmallows are too squishy, leave them out over night to dry out. Students made AB, AABB, ABC, and ABB patterns.


Rainbow sticks (by me)


  • Cloth pins
  • Ice cream sticks

How to play:

First paint the cloth pins and ice cream sticks of the colors you want, make sure you paint more sticks so the kid can repeat the pattern. In a big stick clamp the cloth pins in certain order and ask the kid to repeat it using the sticks of the same colors.






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