Buttons and Pop (Popsicle) Sticks is an invitation to play opportunity for children to explore and experiment freely with the basic items provided. Children can create pictures with the pop sticks and buttons, balance the buttons along the pop sticks, sort buttons by colours, size or shape and even match the different coloured buttons to the same coloured pop sticks. The ideas are endless!
What you will need?
You will need small and large coloured/plain pop sticks pop sticks and an assortment of coloured buttons.
- Play creatively and imaginatively: Make pictures and patterns with the pop sticks. Cover the pictures and patterns pop sticks with buttons.
- Sort, match and classify the coloured buttons such as place all the green buttons on the green pop stick or all the larger buttons on the plain larger pop stick.
- Count how many buttons are on the pop sticks. Which one has the most?
- Line up the entire red (or other colour) buttons from the smallest to the biggest along the pop stick.
- Talk about which colour or button is your child’s favourite and why.
Encourage your child to create basic patterns, model making patterns and talk about what comes next in the pattern. For example, place one pink button followed by a blue button, then another pink button followed by a ____ button. Predicting what will come next in the pattern. The patterns can increase in difficulty as your child understanding develops, such as two red buttons, 2 blue buttons, etc.
Why teach patterns?
Teaching patterns to children is the early skill which is recognised under the mathematical term Algebra. Algebra is about seeing relationships and as children recognise and create patterns they begin to see and understand how things work together.
- Classifying, sorting and matching.
- Imagination and creativity.
- Problem solving skills – comparing the differences and sorting them accordingly.
- Fine Motor Development
- Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
- Language skills: pronunciation and naming colours and sizes.
- Mathematics/Number – Recognise, copy and create simple two part patterns. Predicting – what is coming next?
- Mathematics/Measurement: Comparing size, small, medium and large.