Basic Montessori Math Materials for Introducing Numbers

Sunday, October 9, 2016

IT’s the 12 Month of Montessori Series for October and I would like to share the top 4 Montessori Math materials in teaching numbers to preschoolers.  I love sharing math activities because I love math, and Mavi is now appreciating mathematics because he can see its application to real life. 


I am absolutely a believer of the Montessori approach in mathematics, especially to younger kids as it provides a strong foundation in understanding numbers and quantity.  The use of tactile materials make it even more engaging to young children. And the best part of this, you can absolutely make a “poor man’s version” of the materials.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you some of the Montessori materials that introduces the units of quantity from 0 to 10.

Sandpaper Numbers

This is one of the best Montessori materials that you can get to introduce the number symbols. There are so many ways you can use the sandpaper numbers, we use it in this manner:

  • Feeling the sandpaper number with your child
  • Associating the number symbol with their names

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The image above is from Lisheen Montessori Shop in Ireland.  You can also purchase this in Tower High Learning (UK) or Amazon. 



Spindle Box

The main objective of this material is to show the child that a number symbol can also be represented by a collection of objects from 0 to 9.  Here, the child can experience zero.    We don’t have this material (wishlist!) but there are so many ways you can re-produce materials similar to this.  Planting Peas used baskets and pencils for this!  Photo is from Lisheen Montessori Shop, but you can also purchase at Tower High Learning (UK) or in Amazon.

Number Rods and Number Tablets

This material introduces the child to the sequence of 1 to 10 by associating the name quantities (rods) with their written symbols.  The photo below from Montessori Supplies Ireland (I plan to purchase here), but you can also purchase this at Tower High Learning or Amazon.


I made a smaller version of this for Mavi when he was 2 years old.  I printed a pattern of blue and red in a cardstock and laminated it.  This is how we used it during that time. 



Cards and Counters

This is Vito’s current favourite math activity. That little one of mine loves to count and loves using counters!  So we’ve been working with these materials (DIY version) at home for weeks now.  I talked about this material over here in case you wanted to know more.  


You can visit my blog and search “montessori math” for more varieties of cards and counters.  Yes, that’s the best thing about this material/activity, you can change the objects to coincide with a thematic theme!  Here Vito is using pumpkin counters for our “Autumn Unit”.


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This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Learning which is hosted by Natural Beach Living and The Natural Homeschool.


Amazing blogs involved in the 12 Months of Montessori learning: 

Easy Ways to Use Montessori Math on a Budget | Natural Beach Living

Montessori Math Subtraction Facts - Presentation and Printable | The Natural Homeschool

Montessori-Inspired Playdough Math Activities for Fall {Free Printables} | Living Montessori Now

Montessori Math for Preschool | Mama’s Happy Hive

Shape Sorting: Early Math for Toddlers | The Kavanaugh Report

Basic Montessori Math Materials for Introducing Numbers | The Pinay Homeschooler

Using Command Cards for Math | Grace and Green Pastures

25 of The Best Montessori Math Printables | Christian Montessori Network


  1. What a great post! Thank you for sharing such great ideas!