Babies & kids are master pattern sleuths. Looking for patterns is one way they make sense of their worlds.
And they apply this skill to grammar & sentence structure as they learn to speak. Without telling them a thing about HOW we string words together, humans figure it out by simply listening.
Watch the errors kids make when they begin expressing their thoughts:
“I runned all the way to that rock!” a little one might report.
While this is incorrect, there is so much that is RIGHT. How does that tiny child know to add “ed” to the end of the verb?
Because they have listened, & deciphered a pattern — that when others talk about the past, they seem to add that sound at the end. I find this fascinating…!
So harness this as you teach your kids a new language, & know that they are seeking patterns to help them construct language.
At SingALingo we teach a chant everytime we transition to a new activity.
In English, it says “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go (play, sing, eat, run etc…).”
Vamos (clap clap)
Vamos (clap, clap)
Vamos a (verb — do a gesture to hint at meaning)
(repeat until the kids have all transitioned to new space or activity)
This will not only make your transitions sweeter, but by plugging in new verbs, it will make explicit a pattern for creating sentences themselves.
This is just one example for using patterns. Do you have others that you use with kids?