Montessori teachers are fortunate to have such wonderful materials at their fingertips to teach these concepts, but what can parents do at home? I am continually being asked by parents for ideas that they can implement to further their child’s understanding of quantity and numerals, and I have included a list of activities below. I have implemented many of these activities at home with my own children and also in the Montessori preschool. Enjoy!
Montessori Math Preparation Activity Ideas to Reinforce Counting and Number Recognition at Home
Ice cube tray countingWrite down numerals in the hollows of an ice cube tray, or place stickers in the empty sections of a candy box. Let your child count, and place the required numbers of buttons, beads, or counters in each section.
Count stairsCount each step in a staircase as you climb in your house or when you are out somewhere.
Movement countingCombine exercise with numbers! Let your child look at the date on the calendar. If it is the 15th of the month, encourage your child to touch their toes 15 times, clap 15 times, or jump up and down 15 times.
Number fishingAttach a magnet to a string. Place cards with a numeral on each into a basket, with a paperclip attached to each card. When you call out a number, your child will fish for that card.
One-to-one correspondenceLine up 10 small baskets or jars with numerals on them, from 0 to 10. Give your child 55 objects — spoons, pom poms, small erasers, etc. — and have him/her put the required number of objects into each basket. By the time your child is finished, there should be no objects left.
Playing cards and countingUse playing cards and buttons together. Your child can place the appropriate number of buttons on the hearts, spades, clubs, or diamonds on each card.
Outdoor number searchLook for numbers every time you’re out of the house — on license plates, shop numbers, signs/billboards, etc.
Indoor number searchLook for numbers inside the house — on cans, books, newspapers, the phone book, shoe sizes, clothes tags.
Movement gamesCreate a set of index cards with a single numeral on each. Hold up each card and ask the child to hop or jump as many times as the number on the card.
Tactile numbersWrite numbers on a large sheet of paper, and invite your child to use play dough to create and trace number shapes on top of each paper. Or, your child can dip a cotton swab in paint, and trace the numbers which you have written.
Number bingoCreate a squared piece of paper, and in each square write a different number. Provide the child with the squared paper as well as a handful of counters and prepare to play Bingo! The parent or teacher should hold up one number at a time, which may or may not match the numerals on the squared paper. Each time the child sees a number that matches what’s on their squared paper, they should cover it with a counter. When the child gets a line of counters, he/she announces, “BINGO!”
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, February 17, 2011.