This recycled DIY from cardboard will help your child learn the shape of the number by hands-on making numbers from pipe cleaners. Then, through the sense of touch, the child will reinforce numeral vs quantity association by counting pom poms, thus developing a sensorially tactile understanding of the quantitative measure of number, which is an otherwise abstract mathematical concept.

What you will need:

• recycled cardboard cut into squares
• pipe cleaners
• pom poms
• and a glue gun.

First, offer your child to make a number from a pipe cleaner.

Then, glue a corresponding number of color-matching pom-poms to the cardboard.

Now, offer your child to trace each number and count pom poms.

Did you know that by triggering child’s tactile senses enriches the learning experience?

Behind the scenes video of how Julia made these tactile number boards.

To the left, are traditional Montessori Cards and Counters, which include wooden letters and wooden circle counters. So, take this opportunity to talk about odd and even numbers. See a detailed lesson with the video on Odd/Even presentation here in a post – Valentines Odd and Even Montessori Math 101 Series.

Sensorial exploration is extremely important during the child’s first six years of life. Dr. Maria Montessoi described the First Plane of Development (birth to 6 yrs) as a period of the Absorbent Mind which is characterized by “young child’s behavior of quickly and effortlessly assimilating the sensorial stimuli of his or her environment, including information from the senses, language, culture, and the development of concepts.” The child is self-observed, has a self-centered viewpoint, is focused primarily on the sensorial exploration of a factual world. Materials are prepared mainly for individual use by a child. Dr. Montessori believed that this power is unique to the first plane and that it fades as the child approached the age of six. So, triggering sensorial exploration during the first six years of life proves to be most beneficial to child’s development. Read more here in a post “Dr. Maria Montessori’s Planes (Stages) of Development.”

A child three to six years of age has a conscious absorbent mind.  “It is as if the child, having absorbed the world by an unconscious kind of intelligence, now ‘lays his hands’ to it.”   Now it is the hand, as a ‘prehensile organ of the mind,’ not just the senses, which move the child through a period of constructive ‘perfectionment’ – refining the acquisitions already made.” ~  explained Dr. Montessori.

Below are our DIY numbers up close.

Dr. Montessori also defined a psychological state she termed  “normalization” (in children from three to six years old) which arises from concentration and focus on activity which serves the child’s developmental needs, and is characterized by the ability to concentrate as well as “spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others… A child who concentrates is immensely happy.” ~ Dr. Montessori observed.

So, by creating a prepared environment full of tactile stimuli, triggering the child sensorially, we hope to offer the child a rich learning environment and instill a lifelong love of learning.

For more on DIY materials and activities, see here ✂️DIY, Crafts & Materials.