I don’t even know who to credit with this idea. I feel like I’ve seen this on a million Montessori blogs. The basic idea is that you match up the written number with the number of small physical objects. Clear as mud? It’ll be clearer as we go through the tutorial.
It all started when I saw these decorative thingies in the dollar section at Target. I had to have them! (I haven’t mentioned yet that I’m having a Halloween themed play group party yet, have I? Get excited. ) And then I realized that they would be perfect for a Montessori counting activity that I had seen everywhere. First I set out to create the numeral cards. Pumpkins!
I found a free SVG file, but it had swirlies off to the sides. No worries, I layered it up in SCAL and then cut it out in my cricut. Awesome!
I cut off the swirlies and voila! Ten pumpkins! Now onto stamping.
I rarely stamp, but that hasn’t stopped me from procuring a large number of them. I stamped the numbers 1-10 on the pumpkins.
Then I put the pumpkin cards along with 55 of the plastic pumpkins in this super cute pail that I also found in the dollar section. Now onto the actual activity.
First I had Kate lay out the pumpkin cards.
Then she counted out the plastic pumpkins to correspond with the number cards. So she set one plastic pumpkin under the pumpkin card with the number 1. The pumpkin card with the number 2 on it had two plastic pumpkins set under it. Continuing all the way to 10 plastic pumpkins. Having exactly 55 plastic pumpkins in the pail helps her to check her work. If she runs out of pumpkins or has pumpkins left over, she knows to go back and recount.
I made another similar set so that Kate and Emily could both play at the same time. For these I started by cutting 10 2 inch squares.
Then I stamped a bat and the numbers on the cards. I counted out 55 of the little plastic ghosts and put them into another pail with the bat cards.
I helped Emily lay out the cards in order. She was concentrating very hard!
10 was a little more than Emily wanted to deal with so I ended up giving her 5 cards instead.
Kate and Emily loved this! Kate’s had some experience with activities like this at school and she loved showing Emily how to do it. They’ve played with these several more times already. This was totally worth the effort.