Bean Patch time at Beansprouts often consists of any of what I consider "pre-academic" skills. Pattern recognition and repeating plays an important role in the development of literacy and math. Without the ability to identify and recognize patterns, the ability to recognize letters and literacy symbols will not emerge. Also, the spatial reasoning skills practiced during pattern games is also critical in both math and reading.
On a more philosophical side, patterns can lead to extensions in thinking. It brings singularity into multiple. It reflects and repeats and is consistent. What would have been inside the box, now extends beyond the box.
This day during Bean Patch, we were making patterns with wooden sticks and the patterns began to remind me of a book we got from the library. The author places Chinese characters into the picture of the story as well as a translation on the bottom of the page. We used these characters as models for our stick patterning. It was fun to bring the book to that level of interaction!