Your child will create patterns with their fingerprints.
Learning Area(s): Math; Sensory and Art
- 3 colors of paint or ink pads
- wet wipe or wet paper towel
Explain to your child that everyone’s fingers have tiny special lines and swirls on them called fingerprints. Then, using paint or ink pads, let her choose a color and practice making stamps of her fingerprints on a piece of paper.
After she has made prints on paper, talk to her about patterns. “A pattern is something that repeats over and over again. You can use your fingerprints to make a pattern with paint. You will use your two thumbs to create your pattern.” Make a pattern using two colors (e.g., red, blue, red, blue, etc.)
“Now it’s your turn! Which two colors do you want to use?” After she has chosen colors, allow her to make a pattern by putting one thumb into each color and alternating colors. As she completes the pattern, remind her that it is a pattern because it repeats the same two colors over and over again.
- Sometimes children find it easier to extend a pattern than create one when first learning this new skill. If your child has trouble creating a pattern, you can start a pattern and have your child continue it.
- Another way to help your child recognize patterns is to leave a little space between each set of thumb prints as the pattern repeats like red, yellow, [space], red, yellow, [space].
- Here are some examples of different ways to create patterns:
- AB (example: red, yellow, red, yellow)
- ABC (example: red, yellow, blue, red, yellow, blue)
- AABB (example: red, red, yellow, yellow, red, red, yellow, yellow)
- AAB (example: red, red, yellow, red, red, yellow)
- Once your child understands how to make a pattern, challenge them to make more complicated patterns by using different fingers (e.g., thumb, thumb, pointer, thumb, thumb, pointer) or more colors (e.g., blue, yellow, red, blue, yellow, red, etc.). Talk to your child about what comes next and how they know.
- To extend this activity, create drawings out of the fingerprint patterns! For example, a row of fingerprints can become a caterpillar by drawing antennae and tiny legs or a train by drawing wheels and a track. Examples of books with more ideas include Alphaprints: ABC by Roger Priddy and Great Thumbprint Drawing Book by Ed Emberley.
- If your child enjoys making patterns, try these other patterning activities: