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Our topic after Christmas is going to be patterns. Our emphais will be on patterns in nature, animals, insects etc., using books like Elmer and the Bad Tempered Ladybird.

Does anybody have any ideas of what else we can do?



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After Christmas!!!! I'm still trying to work out who's going to be Mary in our Nativity!!! I know what will happen, my usual boisterst, loud, full of mischief 3 and 4 yr olds will clam up and then freeze as soon as they see their mums proudly waiting to see little Johnny with his paper crown and Walter with his cuddly lamb. Oh well I've got 10 days to make it all a lot of fun and let them re-enact their version of the Nativity but I think I shall be singing solo!!!


Right, animals, insects and patterns, this just off the top of my head but you never know I might hit a right note somewhere!

How about fish scales repeating colours or using different textures to

replicate the scales. Look for patterns on tree bark, clouds. leaves age rings on logs, the grain of wood.

Take wax rubbings of naturaly occuring patterns. Look out for snail and slug trails.

Theres always good old symetry printing butterflies. birds insects etc.

Patterns of length using feathers.

Books. Brown bear Brown bear what do you see? repeated refrain and colourful animals (Purple cat and a blue horse)

Polar bear polar bear what do you hear? lots of repeated patterned language and animals.

Tie in animal number rhymes with potato printing foot prints eg Five little ducks went swimming one day--- Print ducks webbed feet. Lay out shapes of animal foot prints for the children to "Track" and help find the missing ducks.

Use the childrens voices to imitate animals and then seguence them so you have patterns of sound.

It's a lovely topic and you can get quite carried away. Hope you can make any sense of this. I find it helps to make a mind chart and explore down many avenues.



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Dear Ann,

Loved your bit about the Nativity - who's who and what's what and I do hope my voice holds out for all that solo singing. Hoping that Toby's Christmas Drum (this years play we are doing) may drown me out. If not I am sure they will all look lovely - year before last one child "mooned" ons tage - this year I have his younger brother - hope he hasn't seen the video!!!!


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Do you know the song "Clap your hands and wiggle your fingers?" (tune of Bobby Shaftoe)

"Clap your hands and wiggle your fingers (3 times)

Now we've made a pattern"


Change the actions, eg rub your tummy and stamp your feet, etc etc.

Ask for contributions :o The children initially come up with all sorts, most of which are

a) impossible to fit into the tune of the song, and

b- impossible to perform!

But they do get better :D

Take multiple photos of instruments and line them up near your music area/table.




Children then play the sequence.


You could take photos of the children performing actions, and do the same kind of thing. You can get lots of Maths into this, too, eg 4 claps, 2 stamps, etc.

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Intersetingly enough, we were only talking about patterns la couple of weeks ago, when we discoverd that our children had no idea what spots or stripes were! Just goes to show how much we take for granted sometimes. They knew 'Spot' the dog, but no connection between the name the and spot. So we found 'my mum and dad make me laugh' and they loved that!

Now everything they paint or draw has to have spots or stripes!!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

well I know you said "nature" was the theme


what about the home environment, it can be interesting to look for pattern or in the nursery room walls floors and then get the children to do wax rubbings


a short walk in the street outside would bring lots of patterns to the childrens attention such as bricks, drain covers, paving etc

bringing that idea back into the nursery the children can make patterns using construction toys

building towers, alternating the colours to make patterns

making walls again alternating the colours


dare I sound sexist but the boys enjoy it!


back to nature and plants there are patterns in the food the children eat if you have a child that likes fine details show them a cauliflower and take a close look the way the tops of the florets repeat the same spiral pattern, I can remember noticing the spiral patterns on the tops of the florets and thinking wow, but Im a bit strange and find wonder in the most ordinary of things


and when thinking of patterns in nature dont forget the beloved snow flake!


Merry Christmas

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