## DIY Hearts tactile numbers puzzle-boards cards and counters are a perfect Valentine’s inspires math activity for toddlers and preschoolers to promote rational counting and one-to-one correspondence.

Hearts Tactile Numbers Puzzle-Boards are very easy to make with just cardboard and pom poms. Most importantly, this Valentine’s inspired DIY is a fun and innovative way to promote tactile senses, problem-solving skills, and rational counting in toddlers and preschoolers. So, grab your box and a craft knife, and let’s get started!

## Why Should We Teach Real Concepts before Abstract to Children?

We should teach children real concepts like quantity before the abstraction of numerals since young children’s brains might not yet be neurologically ready to comprehend the symbolic representation in the form of a number.

Dr. Maria Montessori observed that children learn early mathematical concepts through hands-on manipulation, such as matching, touching, transferring, and manipulating. Through such learning by doing, they master counting, recognize quantities, and learn to sequence.

That’s why many of Montessori’s mathematical works start in the sensorial area. A child is familiarized with real quantity way before any numeration is introduced. Here, we will be explaining mathematical concepts through a sensorial exploration of a visual and tactile sense.

What the hand does, the mind remembers.

Dr Maria Montessori

## What you will need to make Hearts Tactile Numbers Puzzle-Boards

Here is the list of supplies you will need to make these tactile boards:

- cardboard
- a craft knife
- a hot glue gun
- pom poms

*If you are making numbers beyond five, use smaller pom poms.

### Hearts Tactile Numbers Puzzle-Boards

## How to Make Hearts Tactile Numbers Puzzle-Boards

First, cut the cardboard into heart shapes.

Then, cut each heart into halves (each heart has a unique cutting pattern).

After that, write a numeral on one half and hot glue the corresponding quantity of pom poms to the other.

Finally, offer your child to solve the puzzle!

## How to Teach Odd and Even

You can also use these tactile boards to introduce the concept of odd and even. Make sure to position pom poms in pairs so that it is visually obvious to a child when a number is odd, that is, when a pom pom does not have a pair.

## What is Rational Counting?

**Rational** counting is when a child moves beyond rote counting and can count *rationally* – by assigning only *one* number to *each* object as they count in succession. Children are able to match the number names to individual items to determine how many are in the set. This approach is especially useful in the early stages of numeracy assimilation.

When a child masters rational counting, they learn to count objects *reliably*, only once and one at a time, and assign a total value to a group of items counted, that is, to assign a **cardinal** number when asked: *“How many?”* or *“How many objects are there in total?”*

#### What is an Example of Rational Counting?

An example of rational counting is asking a child to count how many candies are left in a jar.

## What is One-To-One Correspondence?

**One to One Correspondence**, a precursor to rational counting, is the counting and quantity principle, where a child learns that they can count each object in a group *once* and *only* once.

### How to Teach One-to-One Correspondence?

To teach children** one-to-one correspondence**, invite them to *touch, tag, mark, or move* each item being counted while saying each number *aloud.*

One-to-one correspondence is a hands-on learning technique that teaches children to count groups of objects. Children learn to* assign just one number to each object *rather than counting some twice or missing others altogether.

#### What is an Example of One-to-One Correspondence?

An example of one-to-one correspondence is asking a child to count apples by picking them from the basket one by one.

To make sure that a child counts each object **once and one at a time**, we encourage a child to **touch** each object as they count them aloud, or you can invite a child to mark or cross that object (if written on paper), or move the object out of the way after counting it aloud in a group.

## What is the Difference between Rote and Rational counting?

The difference between rote and rational counting is that the former is a process of sequentially *memorizing* number names and reciting numbers in order as a list, while the latter is the process of *understanding* the *quantitative* *value* of numbers.

## What is Rote Counting?

**Rote** counting is the ability to recite number names verbatim in sequential order from *memory*. With rote counting, children are not “counting” objects but rather simply saying numbers in the correct sequence. For example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10, 15, 20, 25, 30.

With rote counting, a child *lists* the numbers rather than counting them** because they **memorized the number names in sequence. Young children often learn “rote counting” (memorizing through sheer repetition) without having an understanding of one-to-one correspondence or rational counting. For example, they learn to count till then, just like a heart-learned poem.

A child who rote counts may not necessarily be able to count each object once or may count the same object a few times. Or, if you ask them to show you a number that is not in sequential numerical order, they might not be able to do so. That is, they memorize the list but have little understanding of quantity.

##### Have you tried making tactile number boards? Leave a comment if you did!

## For More Valentine’s Activities

See here DIY Valentine’s I-Love-You From The Button of my Heart Card.

##### I hope you enjoyed Hearts Tactile Numbers Puzzle-Boards!

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