Montessori Counting Game and Counting Activity

Montessori Counting Game and Counting Activity


Starting a math section at your home if you are extension-schooling or homeschooling can be daunting. This set solves some needs for a Level One Montessori math activity set. Level One activities enforce concrete learning for children ages 3-6. Higher levels would move toward abstract concepts such as place values and higher order division. This activity set reinforces order, coordination, concentration, and independence. All are experienced by the child using these materials.

This Level One Montessori activity introduces sets of one through ten preparing the child for counting and teaches the value of quantity. The child can begin to associate numeral and quantity with number tiles and counters. A child will gain a growing understanding of sequence and number recognition. This activity is also self-correcting. If they end up with "extra" counter or not enough, they will know to go back and recount their work.

The set also includes an alternate sorting activity for those children that are working on item recognition and are just not ready for numeral counting. The reverse side of the number slats correspond to the item shape that belongs to that number group. Pre-counters can use this side to sort the shape families and adults can use them to guide the counting children for which items belong in a set or the children can use them as an alternate self-check mechanism.

This set is cut and engraved from 100% verified sustainable North American maple and is coated with a toy-safe CAB acrylic laquer for durability and a wipe-clean surface. This solid hardwood set will last through several children and are great for classroom needs as well.

This set include 10 number tiles that measure approximately 3 inches by 2.5 inches. 55 counters cut in a space theme accompany the number tiles. The photos show 10 different sets of objects.

If you are purchasing for children that are just learning to count, you may request that all 55 objects are the same shape (choose from rocket ships, stars, a planet, or boy or girl space explorer). This will help you isolate the difficulty in counting rather than shape matching. For children that are comfortable with counting, the shape changes add an extra difficulty level if desired for Level One math activities and is a good bridging activity to Level Two Math activities.

How to start:

1. Invite a child to come work with you. Bring him over to the shelf and have him bring the material to the table.

2. Open the box and place it on the lid.

3. Show the different number tiles to the child and have him say the numbers out loud.

4. Lay the number tiles on the table in front of the child.

5. Have the child put the number tile with an engraved 1 to the left side of the table.

6. Explain that you will need a little space between the tiles.

7. Ask the child to put the other tiles to the right of the first card in numerical order.

8. Tell the child that you are going to put the number of counters each card asks for under the corresponding card.

9. Point to tile 1 and ask the child how many counters should you place under this card.

The child should answer 1.

10. Take one counter out of the box and gently slide it (using your right index finger) under the tile written 1.

11. Have the child count the counter.

12. Repeat for card 2 by placing the counters next to each other.

13. Repeat for card 3 but place the last counter under and to the middle of the two counters.

Some activities I suggest:

Simple Counting:

Younger children could simply count space objects to correspond to the number on each tile as in the steps above.

Even and Odd:

Help the child arrange the counter under each tile in two rows so that you can easily visualize those tiles that have an even number or an odd number. The odd numbered tiles will have two identical rows with a counter in the middle of the two rows at the bottom. Slide the tile between the rows and discuss those rows that can be "cut" and those that cannot. For those odd number, adjust the tile so that it is above or below the rows in a different level than the even numbered tiles. Talk about the words and definitions for odd and even.

Addition: Appropriate for children ages 4 1/2 and up (although Montessori education is always individualized). Set up a series of simple single digit addition problems. An older child could write the answers on laminated addition cards with erasable markers or write out the problems and answers on another paper. A younger child who has an advanced understanding of numbers but the fine-motor coordination appropriate for his or her age could use the activity without any writing.

Sorting: Flip the numeral slats over to the shapes. Have the child sort all or a small selection of the counters under or onto the shape slats. Reinforces matching and sorting.