Toothpick & Rubber Band Patterns

By freshlyplanted - 7:18 AM

We've been in baby mode around here (less than four weeks to go, and counting), so I'm posting some activities on here to remind myself of in a couple weeks in my soon-to-be sleep-deprived state. I'm a bit foggy on those newborn days, since Billy just turned three, but I do remember very little sleep. Even though he slept quite a bit, especially for a newborn, having one (and now two) kid running around makes the "sleep when baby sleeps" mantra a bit harder to attain. Especially when the running around kiddo inevitably wakes baby up! So I'm filling my arsenal with lots of Easy activities that I can pull out to entertain & teach my kids without expending the last bit of my mental energy. These toothpick patterns are perfect for that! And I'll share some ways below that we use them with both my kindergartner and my beginning preschooler.

Toothpick Learning
All you need for this quick activity are toothpicks & rubber-bands. The first thing I do is start a pattern for Isia, in this case it was Triangle-Circle (rubber band)- Square, then let her add on to it. Picking up the toothpicks to form the shapes is great for fine motor skills, and problem-solving skills too! And as we've added different shapes into her learning- pentagons, rhombuses, etc.- it's been great review to include them in our patterns too. After I've made her a couple patterns, then she gets to do her favorite part: create patterns for Mama to complete!

Toothpick Learning
She doesn't make it easy for me either, sometimes adding four or five different shapes for me to replicate! This might take a little bit more brain power after all (wink). 

Some preschool ideas:
For Billy, who's still learning his basic shapes, we've been concentrating on him copying my forms. For example, I'll make a triangle, then we'll have him make a triangle. Then we'll take his triangle apart, counting the toothpicks one a time so he can begin to understand that three toothpicks make up a triangle (which reinforces that a triangle is made up of three sides). Good shapes to start with for him have been triangles, squares, rectangles, diamonds, and circles (the rubber band). He likes to watch Isia & I make patterns too, which is an excellent way to start learning how to create them himself!

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