Saturday 8 October 2011


Montessori Activity: Teaching Counting & Numeral Recognition with Counting Tray & Zip Lock Bags

Age: From 2.5 years old (Level 4)

Activity Duration: 5 - 10 minutes

1. To teach counting in a simple, logical and systematic way that can be grasped by toddlers.

1. 1 large bowl containing 10 objects from 1 - 10 units (I use:
- 1 yellow toy car
- 2 toy spiders
- 3 small plastic plates
- 4 plastic teaspoons
- 5 marbles
- 6 acorns
- 7 plastic toy fishes
- 8 pebbles
- 9 seashells
- 10 lego bricks (preferably same colour)

2. Counting Tray: Another large empty tray to drop the objects when counting

3. 10 zip lock bags containing 1 number card in each bag from 1 - 10.

1. Demonstrate by choosing the object starting with 1, for example the yellow car, by putting the toy car into the tray and count "one".

2. After counting, match the number of object (in this case 1 toy car) with the zip lock bag containing the number card 1.

3. Put the toy car into the zip lock bag and close the bag.

4. Demonstrate again for the number two by choosing the two spiders and putting it one-by-one into the tray and count "one, two". Match it with the zip lock bag containing the number card 2. Put the spiders into the zip lock bag and close it.

5. Continue with the rest of the items and demonstrate ending with 10, for example the 10 lego bricks, and putting them gently one-by-one into the tray. When putting the lego bricks into the tray, count "one, two, three... ten" as you go along until the last lego brick is counted.

6. Encourage your child to try with 1 object, 2 objects, 3 objects and so on... until 10 objects are all counted and match correctly with the corresponding numberal in the zip lock bags.

If your child is struggling, reduce the complexity by teaching only counting and numeral recognition from 1 - 5 (shown by picture 3)

Additional Information:
Joshua (2Y7M5D) tried this today and he could count up to 5, but struggle to count up to 10. Then I thought the "counting tray" concept to drop the item one-by-one. Will try again this evening or reintroduce it sometime later. However, he could match the number of objects with the numberal all the way to 10, but mixing up numeral 6 and 9 on the way. Numberal 6 and 9 are also the most confusing as they look alike, but only inverted.

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