Monday, March 5, 2018

Toddler STEAM - Patterns and Sorting

Recognizing patterns and sorting are a basic foundation for SO many other things - math and science, obviously, but also music, spelling, grammar, foreign languages, they are a lot of fun to play with! We even worked some colors and shapes in this week. This was probably the cheapest STEAM program ever, since almost everything was already on hand or left over from previous projects.

The sorting table was easy, I just grabbed the first three containers I saw of sortable objects.

We had to have at least ONE messy table! Playing with your food is always a sure hit, and I had leftovers from our scouting snack.

Of course some did patterns, some just painted.

That's totally okay! STEAM explorations mean letting the kids find their own way. Sometimes it will go the direction you want it to, sometimes not. The important thing is that they are learning and absorbing something.

Some less messy art (shapes left over from an earlier craft):

Okay, not a pattern, but we learned LOTS about colors and shapes!

My big expense - a $2 bag of pipe cleaners and a $3 bag of cereal. 

I like pipe cleaners for stringing with littler kids, because the end doesn't flop around.

 Not to mention, if they decide to eat it later, they aren't likely to suck a string down and choke!

Rubber bands, on the other hand, are a definite choking hazard, so you probably don't want to do this one with the babies. The bigger kids love it, though! (We have the Geo Boards available for circulation).

Ah, symmetry. Child after my own heart.

Cheap reinforcement stickers - or you can use colored dots or the star stickers that come a million to a package. 

Anything with stickers is good.

Most of these I grabbed from my front yard or kitchen:

The books are part of a great series, and I had those scattered around the room.

These linking chains are also available for check-out:

Oops - can you spot the break in the pattern?

And the blocks stay here for our monthly Builder's Club:

As expected, the kids mostly just built towers, but that's all good! Thanks for everyone who came (and let me take their pictures!)

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