There are a lot of ways you can incorporate math works into your toddler’s work space before she’s ready for actual number recognition. Patterns are a great introduction to math concepts! Math is full of abstract patterns and sequencing. This lego pattern work makes it more concrete so the young child can actually see the pattern and manipulate it.
To prepare this work, I drew a few templates on some cardstock and colored them according to the colors of the legos. I only put one template out at first, using an ABABABA pattern. I also created ABCABC and ABBCABBC templates, which I kept in my work closet until L had mastered the first one. I put only the legos L would need to make the pattern in a small bowl.
I showed L the template and we talked about how it went green, yellow, green, yellow, green, yellow, green. The first time we did this work, I put together the first few legos to show her the pattern, and then she continued it. Now she doesn’t need me to start it for her.
When she finishes putting all the legos together, L checks her pattern against the template.
Then she lays it on top of the template to show that it matches.
For an older child, you can make templates with more difficult patterns. Another extension would be to include a large bowl full of all different colored legos, so the child would have to find the ones that match the pattern.