# Three educational activities for your pre-schooler

22 December 2017

Nestlé Nido 3+ brings you these handy tips to encourage your young child’s development

Do you ever notice patterns in the wallpaper at your office, count the stairs when climbing them or see the shape of an animal in the clouds? This is all part of our tendency to try and create order in our lives, and it all starts in childhood. Children also try to find order in their own lives, which is why they enjoy stacking cups into a pyramid or sorting shapes and blocks according to colours. These are all ways in which they try to make patterns out of everyday experiences.

Why are patterns important for development?

Patterns help children learn sequencing and make predictions. This helps them later in life with mathematical skills, logical thinking, language development and even grammar. The older your child gets the easier they notice patterns and logic in complicated sequences such as knowing the days of the week, months of the year or even just counting from one to ten.

Three activities to encourage and develop pattern recognition

1.The cereal sorting game

Use different types of cereal from the cupboard such as CHEERIOS or MILO cereal and ask your toddler to sort them according to colour and shape.

2.Make your own colour and pattern ‘flashcards’

What you’ll need: a pile of Lego blocks, an empty egg carton that holds six eggs, coloured paper or white paper and crayons or paint in the colours as the Lego blocks. Cut out or draw six colours on a piece of paper in the shape of the egg carton (three at the top, three at the bottom). Then hand your child the egg carton, the ‘flash card’ with the six colours you’ve drawn or stuck on. Ask them to replicate the pattern by placing the right coloured Lego blocks in the egg carton in the same position as it appears on the ‘flash card’. You can make several cards with the different colours appearing in different places every time. Reward your child each time they get the pattern right – just to add to the fun!

3.Go to Future Park!

Nido 3+ recognises the importance of encouraging pattern recognition and logical thinking in your child’s early years and has, as a result, joined forces with Future Park to bring you the Connecting Block Town game which promotes pattern recognition in children. By placing wooden blocks in different places on the table, your child can take part in creating a virtual town. Pattern recognition is important here since each wooden block creates a different pattern – one will create railway tracks, another creates clouds which connect the airplanes and another a river for boats to float on.

Future Park is on at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town until 31 January 2018, after which it moves to Johannesburg for six weeks! More details here: www.futureparksa.co.za. Tickets are available at Computicket or at the door.