Pattern Following

Some of the earliest pattern-following games arise with babies playing on the floor. They push baby cars along the edge of a rug or follow a line on a carpet or lino-covered floor. Later simple train sets encourage this and actually make it easier because of the raised edges of the track. Traffic boards and other layouts showing defined paths also help. Some of the exercises specifically developed for diagnosing and treating handicapped children are both fun and useful to do if they are produced in an adapted form. Prepared sheets showing sets of lines to follow or draw between, patterns to be completed or which involve specific movements can be used if the skill needed and materials offered (thick felt markers for three-year-olds, finer nylon-tipped pens for older children) are carefully graded. There is no point in spending a great deal of money or a lot of time on providing these sets since using them fairly rarely as a pleasant change instead of an everyday part of play preserves their attraction. Felt pen marks can be wiped off so the same sheets can be used many times.