Friday 31 May 2013


Montessori Activity: Static Addition with Lego (加法 [jiāfǎ])

Age: From 4 years old

Activity Duration: 5 - 30 minutes

Objective: To teach addition in a concrete and fun way with Lego bricks.


1. Lego cars or marbles
2. 2-3 felt clothes, one for each addend
3. Paper and pen
4. Plus and equal sign (if you don't have this, you can just draw them on a piece of small paper)
5. Number tablets if your child still cannot write
6. 1 mat


1. Write down a problem sum on paper.

2. Invite your child to read it e.g. 2 + 4 = ?

3. Invite your child to count the Lego car models (or marbles or anything he chooses to use) and place the appropriate pieces on the felt colth for the first addend.

4. Do the same to the second addend (and the third addend if you expand further).

5. Ask your child to make a guess what 2+4= is.

6. Invite your child to verify his answer by counting the number of Lego models all together, e.g. 1, 2, 3 & 4, say out the answer and place the correct answer number tablet next to the equal sign.

Additional Information:

J (4Y2M26D) thought of this game with Lego, following inspirations from the marbles, which was also his idea. It is nice, when it is child-led, as he was fully motivated, and we spent more than 30 minutes on this in the evening (here is where my FTWM schedule comes into conflict, and I wish I am a SAHM). We have been playing this for the past 2 evenings. J wanted to complete the sum for the whole paper. He could get the sum correct by counting the items in the Addends. He asked to try with 3 addends this evening.

The older J gets, the longer and more complex the activity becomes, the more time I need to spend on preparing the materials and the more time is spent on each activity. It was no longer "Montessori on a Potty" days when each activity takes a minute to prepare and 5 minutes to complete. This is one of the reason why I am considering the option of SAHM, so that I can be more involved in his childhoood and schooling.

J has been very much into building all these Lego car models and it is coming it ready for the academic work of Mathematics for preschooler as well :-)

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