Category Archives: Maths

Posts about our learning and DIY materials for early maths

Favourite activities. Bath mats and fine motor skills.

For quite a few of our favourite fine-motor skills activities we have been using ordinary bath mats. We started with small ones of different colours and used them for coloured bead sorting. The younger person started doing it with fingers, then progressed to measuring spoon/melon ball spoon, the older one first was using sugar tongs, then progressed to tweezers. Tweesers are not so easy with wooden Pony Beads, and we broke few plastic tweezers, then I started giving my older daughter smaller, plastic beads and this seems to work.

We also used coloured water and pipette to fill the suckers.

After a while I thought a challenge was in order, so I pulled out a big transparent bath mat and filled up some pots with food colouring, laid some pipets out (mine are re-purposed from some baby medicine) and quietly left it in the middle of the patio…

Smaller person wanted to have a go immediately, she was just experimenting with how much droplets can one sucker cup hold, then she tried mixing few different colours of droplets in one cup and so on.

Her sister came in from school and wanted to have a go too. She first was working on making colour patters, then decided to make a picture.

All in all – good concentration and maths (patterns) practice! And creativity of course!


Maths milk tops and “stained glass” geometry

Little person has been practising her quantity and number pairing with our milk-top dots


and doing our favourite shape-sticking today when the sun showed up for a little bit. I have cut up some more file folders as the old one’s colours have faded from the sun. I like the stained glass effect. The brighter the colours the better.

We used these wallets. You don’t have to use geometric shapes, just any shapes you like that will inspire your child to make a picture. You will also need a small spray bottle for spraying on the window to stick the shapes on (can use a travel spray bottles from a pound shop) and a cloth for spillages or when water runs down the window.

I have been busy making some teen and tens Montessori boards (made from cardboard).  And I finally finished Sandpaper cursive letters, only mine are made from corrugated holographic card (anything shiny goes, and neither of us likes the feel of sandpaper)


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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Maths


Toothpicks and packing peanuts

We spent a few minutes constructing from packing peanuts and toothpicks (supervise your child – they are quite sharp). I was hoping to give a little lesson in maths – you know, count vertices, edges and faces – have a go with building different polyhedrons, or try to get Mya to work out how many toothpicks/peanuts she needs to build something and to compare with our set of Geometric solids. I brushed up on my geometry knowledge here – Math is Fun


Packing peanuts and toothpicks

Packing peanuts – excellent building material

I was the only one who was thinking that way. Neva enjoyed breaking the packing peanuts apart and poking them with toothpicks (they make a great popping sound when poked or snapped), then asked me to build her a cow. Mya was building her own something which she refused to identify and wanted to pull apart the shapes that I’ve build for them.

Ah, well – all fun and games. Some other time maybe…

We’ve also made some rockets – expanding our knowledge on Space after visiting Science Museum in London yesterday. We visited exhibition Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age Mya was really captivated by a talk delivered by (alas) an actress, playing role of Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova – the first woman in space. So today when building her rocket Mya asked to give her few pieces of rope “to tether Belle, Rapunzel and Hello Kitty” characters because they needed to go on a Space Walk, and she didn’t want them to float away into space.

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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Crafts, Maths, Uncategorized


Christmas Maths Beads

Mya needs some practice hands-on counting – especially above ten and skip count and unfortunately she’s gone off the practice sheets and wipe-erase books she used to love, so I decided to appeal to her love to all things small and beautiful and I have bought some red, white and green beads from the bargain basket in CJ Beaders in Highcliffe. I have found this blog – A Moment in Our World and decided that’s exactly what I needed. I have adjusted patterns a little and made more strands.


From the top to the bottom:

  1. Green 10 beads strand
  2. 10 beads strand – skip counting by two’s
  3. 10 beads strand – skip counting by five’s
  4. White 20 beads strand
  5. 20 beads strand with green/red/green pattern for easier counting
  6. 20 beads strand – skip counting by two’s
  7. 40 beads strand – every bead is different (I used all the leftover beads 🙂
  8. 40 beads strand – skip counting by five’s
  9. 50 beads strand – skip counting by ten’s.

All in all – Mya was very excited to receive these and second day on she’s still interested, so I think it’s been a success.

Maths with Christmas beads

Maths with Christmas beads

Skip counting with beads

Skip counting with beads


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Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Maths


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Maths practice

We did a bit of maths practice. Pegging the right number or placing a small object on the right number. Pegging uses muscles needed to prepare small hands for writing.



We’ve also done some 100 board coloring, which proved to be very popular and a lot of concentration went into completing the picture. Child has to follow instructions and find and color appropriate numbers with specified colors. I need to make some more of these myself. I’ve found this printable on 3 Dinosaurs. There’s also lots of writing practice in these sheets. Try them out! My girls love Do-a-Dot sheets – they use all sorts with them – bingo markers, stickers (see below) fingerprinting, poking with pins on a corkboard – you name it!


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Posted by on December 12, 2015 in Maths



DIY maths materials for pre-schoolers and Foundation kids

I have decided to re-open my long-forgotten blog and now will be posting here our learning and crafting activities and how it all usually goes wrong despite the best intentions :-).

DIY maths materials

DIY maths materials

Today I have made these self-correcting (as most Montessori materials) maths manipulative. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 13, 2015 in Maths

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