I am so glad I packed the Hape wooden numbers for our holiday. I just knew that A’s interest in numbers would keep growing. I was at a discount store and spotting packets of cats. They came in a pack of 6 so I grabbed three knowing I would have enough for A to use them as counters up to 5. I introduced the toy cats to A just after we were playing with our real cats. ‘I love these! These are my favourite animals!’ I started with the number 1 and then we worked out way down the mat; going back to check if A had enough cats for each number. After this I also added the zero and showed him how there were no cats beside zero because it means ‘none’ or ‘nothing’. Such a hard concept to understand!
I think I’ll go back and get some more packets of cats so he can keep counting up to 10.
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I remembered that I had kept some wooden Christmas craft buttons and shapes, so I got them out to see if I could use them as counters. There was enough to create counters from 1 to 5, and A was interested in counting them with me. I got the Montessori numbers and counters puzzle down off the shelf so that we could also put numbers to our counters. Basically I showed A a number and said, ‘This is the number 2, can you find the collection that has 2 in it?’ I then put the Christmas counters to the side and pulled the counters part of the puzzle out of the box. I repeated the activity, pointing out the number and asking him to find the puzzle that had that many dots. A then grabbed some cars and started using the completed puzzles as car parks or truck pads. 😅 You just got to ‘roll’ with it. I really wish I owned the sandpaper numbers. I want to DIY some basic number tiles instead of buying them but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
I do like this puzzle. I could have DIYed them easily, but I like the tactile warmth of the wooden puzzle that a laminated piece of paper doesn’t have. I have removed the parts for 6 through to 10 to make it easier for A. When he can count the dots half of the puzzle, and it actually matches up to the number half it’s pretty satisfying. A was proud of his efforts during this activity. Our shelves needed some rotations! We’ve swapped out the scales and weights for a number puzzle and a stacking game! A really enjoyed the puzzle  an improvement from last time I had it out. I asked A to pick up a number and I told him the name of that numeral. Once he knew what the numeral was, he could then count the animals on the jigsaw before putting the number in place. I think this is also helping with estimating how many items are in a group which has a name but I can’t remember it. The other shelf we swapped over is the miniature tray. We put out the Safari Toob Nativity set. I printed out a picture from this link which was from this YouTube video. We watched the video and A had to find the figurine as it was displayed. We can match up the figurines with the image for a later activity.
I have had this work on the shelf for some time and it’s been pretty much ignored so I thought that as A is getting into counting I would demonstrate this and let him have a go. This work consists of a tray of mixed shells and a piece of wood that I have drawn lines on to create a ten frame board. We did a bit of comparison between shells and then decided to use the cone shaped shells. I showed him how to place the shells within the frames, then away he went, picking out shells and putting them on the board. He wanted a variety of sizes. He especially likes tiny ‘cute’ things at the moment so the baby shell had to be included. He talked about the smallest, biggest and ‘mediumest’ shells.
And then of course we practised counting the shells. A still has trouble with onetoone correspondence, he will sometimes count the same object twice. A while ago I saw an image on Pinterest (that didn’t seem to go anywhere) of a beautiful set of wooden disks. The disks had a number written in them and jewels stuck around the number. I knew I had to make them myself. I used these coasters from Spotlight. Man I need to stock up on more of those! I keep finding ways to use them. I drew in the numbers with a paint pen. Then I glued in the jewels. I tried to stick to the Montessori colours for each number except for the number 8. There weren’t any brown jewels. I was thinking about using a brown Sharpie pen and colouring them in but I want to test it first. Another regret was that I didn’t really think about how I was glueing them on and really want to redo the first few. The later boards line the jewels up so that you can see if the number is odd or even. I like that. I also wanted to use some glitter glue on top of the numbers for a little more bling and texture but when I tried it, it looked terrible, so I wiped it off. I think it was because I used gold glitter which looked too yellow against the white number. A has played with these a few times now. They are very pretty and tactile. He has paired them up with the Montessori bead stair in the past, but at the moment we have been using a heap of glass pebbles. At the moment I have been counting out the bead and recreating the shapes on the card, whereas A likes to line up the pebbles and count them. I think it’s pretty cool that A is hearing counting and seeing the numbers along side their amounts. I’ve tried to get A to use a pair of tongs to pick up the pebbles but be hates that sort of activity. I don’t really blame him because there are easier ways of picking up small things. This is one area of Montessori Practical life where we fail! I see all these great activities where kids use different types of tweezers or tongs to complete the tasks bu I know that A would not do them. Oh well, follow the child!
2 1/2 years A has been counting lately... well trying to. He has trouble with four but sometimes he can get right up to ten. I bought this ice try from Daiso during the holidays and figured now was a great time to introduce him to the counting box. It’s pretty cool because the moulds are large and it has a lid. I’m looking for a similar one now with 10 spaces. To introduce it I acted excited about what was in the box  I held it upside down so he couldn’t see. I gave hints like it starts with a ‘b’ sound and it’s something you could eat. So once I flipped it over he was pretty into it. I had put a banana in each space  which also helps with one to on correspondence. I took the lid off and then we counted them together. I asked A to take out the bananas and put them on the lid  one at a time  and then we counted again. I then asked A to put them back again  one and a time  and he counted them as he did so. He put them back in the spaces fairly randomly but oh well... I think he did a great job of counting! The only issue is that he loves miniature things so much he has now pinched all the bananas and put them in his pocket 😆
The next time we play I’ll swap out the banana for something else... maybe cars. 
AuthorHi, I'm Pamela. A nail crazy lady with green hair. I live in outback Queensland with my toddler and my husband. I love books, writing and crafting. For more info about me go to my 'About' page. Archives
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