Montessori maths looks a little different at home compared to what you may see in the classroom. At home, I aim to make maths a part of our everyday living and I aim to do it seamlessly and effortlessly! At home with my toddler I want to build mathematical vocabulary and mathematical literacy. Maths is everywhere around us. We don't need to teach it to our children as much as we need to provide them the opportunities to explore math concepts themselves. We also can't discount the learning that happens during open-ended play, Otto pushes his tractor fast down a ramp, he splashes his foot in a puddle harder and harder to make bigger splashes - this is all valuable maths work!!
Maths is all around us, but it can be easy to forget or not address it as much as we can when life gets busy. Here I'm sharing just a snippet of the maths 'work' that Otto (24 months) did today.
Above, it's always wonderful cutting fruit in 'half' with a toddler!
Counting number pegs. This is a very simple version, it's not too busy. We use it for colour sorting and counting 1 to 5. It has numbers 1-5 written on the side facing Otto and this is one of the few materials we have that has numerals written on it. This vertical abacus is also very similar (with colours that match the short bead stair) and this one (US link only) is simple too.
A wooden spoon line up. At the moment Otto only identifies with 'small' and 'big' but is also learning 'smallest' and 'biggest'.
Water play and learning 'full' and 'empty'.
A lot of the following materials would be classified as sensorial materials but really help with size discrimination. Above is our Giant Natural Stacker - Otto can almost stack this correctly from large rings to small.
Stacking and sorting materials are fantastic early maths work!
Open-ended play with some wooden scales. Identifying 'heavy' and 'light' and also 'heaviest' and 'lightest'.
A stick line up. Otto likes to collect sticks while out walking so I ask for him to collect a stick that is longer than the last one.
There are also a few songs that we like to use, Otto loves finger plays and all of these are fun:
- Five little ducks went out one day..
- Five little monkeys jumping on the bed...
- 1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive...
- There were 10 in the bed and the little one said...
- One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, four...