An ability to recognize and create patterns is a mathematical skill that typically emerges around 2 years. Since children are visual learners, it is ideal to use some sort of manipulative when exploring this concept. Ideas for manipulatives include blocks, beads, buttons, marbles, rocks, colored pieces of paper, and pipe cleaners.
Pipe cleaners happened to be another item that arrived in our package today so we used those to explore patterns. Another helpful tip when introducing patterns is to stick to whatever base concept they already display some level of confidence (i.e. colors, big-little, sorting).
When engaging in activity where there is a base concept, it never hurts to review those! So we spent a little of time reviewing the colors before my son got to pick out two colors he wanted to work with. From there we worked to together to create an ABAB pattern! This is also a great opportunity to practice saying the word "pattern" too!
Get your pipe cleaners here: