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Pattern Play

Working with patterns is fun for kids and helps develop problem-solving abilities necessary for mathematical thinking.
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  • Plain paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Colored markers or crayons


  • On the paper, use the ruler and pencil to mark off a grid of squares, making an equal number of rows and columns. 
  • The number of squares in a row should be at least one more than the number of letters in your child’s name. For example, a child named Mark calls for a grid that’s at least 5 rows by 5 columns.
  • Have your child write his name in the top row, starting at the top left square and writing one letter in each square.
  • When he completes his name, have him write it again, starting in the next square in the top row.
  • When he comes to the end of the row, have him continue the name on the next row.
  • Have him keep writing his name this way until all the squares are filled.
  • Have your child color the first letter of his name wherever it appears on the grid.
  • Notice the pattern the colored squares make.
  • If you like, color other letters in different colors and notice the patterns they make.
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