This has been a popular activity in our house lately! We've been experimenting with this set from Melissa and Doug for a few weeks. M. loves to stand the pattern up in the "gutter" and place the rod just so then...put an entirely random sequence of beads in place! Friday we worked on following the pattern.
First we laid the pattern flat on the floor and I preselected each of the beads he would need to complete the pattern. It's a little tough even for me since obviously on the board the shapes are represented in two dimensions and it's a little tricky to match the picture to the actual bead.
I then asked M. to place the beads over the correct image in the correct order. With my little helps in place, and some redirection because of the difference is appearances (board vs. bead) M. was easily able to do this.
Then we placed the correct beads in front of the pattern but still on the floor. This was also simple for him, except that he wanted to keep putting the beads directly on the board. More fun, I guess!
He had an easier time than other times we tried this, but "reading" the pattern from the bottom up was still a little tough. He managed, though, and I discovered that I had given him the wrong bead in two cases. I told you the shapes were hard to match! We tried another pattern, skipping straight to the vertical placement but he had a tough time. We're going to have to practice quite a bit, I think. Reading from the bottom up is definitely non-intuitive and it's made even more difficult because the pattern is placed behind the rod rather than side-by-side.
We'll keep working on it! Completing the work on the floor left to right is a good pre-reading skill, so maybe we'll continue that for the time being. Regardless of how this activity is used, it is also good practice in fine motor skills and a lot of fun for child and parent!