This post on beginning **Montessori math for preschool** includes 6 activities – pink tower, red rods, tracing number board, sandpaper numbers, sand tray, and puzzle. Little Bee is 3.5 years old and loves counting. He enjoys songs that include adding/subtracting and counting on his fingers or counting objects of interest like his matchbox cars. He has not yet fully embraced the Montessori sandpaper numbers. He will trace them once and then he is done and wants to move onto the next activity. However, I was pleasantly surprised to watch him grasp the concept of the pink tower and red rods. He stacked both easily in sequence. This was not the case 4 months ago. This was a great reminder for me to wait and watch for the “sensitive periods” in my child.

## Pink Tower & Red Rods – Numbers 1-10

The pink tower helps the child understand sequence and order – largest to smallest. The child can learn addition by counting 1-10 from the smallest cube to the largest cube. Counting backwards from 10 to 1 (largest cube to smallest cube) shows the child the concept of subtraction. The pink tower gives a concrete understanding of the numbers 1-10 and can prepare the child for work with the decimal system – 1000 smallest cubes equals one largest cube.

The brown stairs should be presented between the pink tower and red rods. Little Bee has already completed this work and we will come back to it as he shows interest. Here is an earlier post that we did on beginning math last year where the brown stairs were introduced – Introducing Montessori Math to Toddlers.

The red rods help the child to understand the concept of varying lengths and also include the numbers 1-10. The smallest rod equals one and fits perfectly into each space as the child builds the sequence from smallest to largest rods. The smallest piece can be used as a “control of error” as the child builds.

## Number Tracing Board

This gorgeous hand-made number tracing board was crafted from the Etsy shop called, “From Jennifer.” The smooth grooves for each number can be traced with a finger or the dowel that comes with the board. This number board guides the child in learning how to write the shapes of each number. The child can also practice holding the dowel with the correct pincer grip that will be used later for writing with a pencil or pen.

## Sandpaper Numbers

The sandpaper numbers are a hands-on activity to teach a child the symbols for each number. The sandpaper on each wooden card guides the child as they trace the number from top to bottom. The child is encouraged to use two fingers while tracing to prepare for using the pincer grip when holding a writing instrument. (Little Bee only wanted to use one finger to trace with.)

Little Bee is not very interested in tracing the sandpaper numbers. He traces the number as quickly as possible and then wants to move on to the next activity. So instead of asking him to trace the numbers, I decided to play a game with him. I turned all the numbers over and mixed them up. Then we knocked on each wooden card and turned it over to see what was underneath. After that we played a memory game by asking Little Bee to find and remember where each number was hidden. He really loved playing this game!

Montessori Math Lesson – Sandpaper Numbers

## Sand Tray

The sand tray is a wonderful sensorial activity for a child to practice “writing” with their fingers. I used the top lid of a wooden box from Michael’s craft store as our sand tray and filled it with blue sand. FYI: any color sand can be used in the tray. Little Bee wrote a number one and then encircled it with a huge zero shape. He also loves to use his matchbox plow truck to push the sand around the tray. (Please note that the concept of zero is introduced after the spindle box lesson.)

I love Planting Peas video presentation on the sand tray – Montessori Sand Tray.

## Number Puzzle

Lastly, number puzzles are a fun way for a child to learn the concrete tactile sensation of each number shape while also working on hand-eye coordination. (Here is a number puzzle that is similar.)

## 12 Months of Montessori Series

**October: Math**

Easy Ways to Use Montessori Math on a Budget | Natural Beach Living

Montessori Math Subtraction Facts – Presentation and Printable | The Natural Homeschool

Montessori-Inspired Playdough Math Activities for Fall {Free Printables} | Living Montessori Now

Montessori Math for Preschool | Mama’s Happy Hive

Shape Sorting: Early Math for Toddlers | The Kavanaugh Report

Basic Montessori Math Materials for Introducing Numbers | The Pinay Homeschooler

Using Command Cards for Math | Grace and Green Pastures

25 of The Best Montessori Math Printables | Christian Montessori Network

The Natural Homeschool says

This is a great post! Thank you for sharing all of the awesome Montessori Math activities!

Jae says

I love this! Urgh, I still have a few Montessori math materials that I wanted to buy but no budget LOL. This is post is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

Sue at Blu says

So glad I found your party! What wonderful info for Moms with young ones…sharing with my niece! Thank you!

Mama's Happy Hive says

You are welcome! Thanks for stopping by!