## Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Snake Game is one of the most popular math games in a Montessori classroom.  I introduced this to Mavi when he was 5 years ago, contrary to Vito who is just 46 months now.  Vito’s sensitive  years for counting arrived early while for Mavi it was alphabets and reading.  How fascinating, isn’t it?

What is Montessori Snake Game?

A snake game is a Montessori math activity that strengthens the counting skills of a child.  It enables the child to identify sets of 10 (what makes 10) which is a basic skill in learning number bonds and in introducing the child to addition.

There are two variations of snake games, one is the search for 10 wherein the colored beads set comes out evenly in sets of 10.  Each set (10) is replaced by a golden 10 bead bar.  The other one is what we call the random snake game wherein the colored bead bars are set up randomly, and doesn’t come out as an exact count of 10.  Here we use the black and white beads as markers for counting.  Now, I will discuss more of this random snake game once we reach this part but for now, my post is specifically for the search of the perfect 10.

Purpose
• strengthens the counting skill of a child
• identify sets that makes 10
• to prepare the child for addition

For what age?

Note:  The Snake Game is usually introduced once the child has worked with the short bead stair.

4 years and older.

Materials needed for this activity:

Invite the child to play the Snake Game with you. Give him an introduction on what the game is all about. I told my boy that we’ll be transforming a colored snake into a golden beads snake and this got his attention.

Place the materials on the table. While doing this, name them (e.g. colored beads, golden beads) to your child so he can be familiar with them.  Using the Snake Game perfect 10 card strips (you can get them from my shop), place the prepared colored bead bars on a table mat into a snake like form.

We used our flattened plastic needle as pointer in this activity.  You can also use a notched piece of cardstock to count the beads.  Count the beads out loud and pause once you reach 10.  Replace the set of ten beads with the golden bead bar.  Place the colored bead bars on top of the snake/mat.

Continue counting to the next set of 10, repeating the process of replacing the set of 10 colored bead bars with the golden bead bar.

Once the work is done, tell your child that the colored snake has now been transformed into a golden snake.

To check the work (control), make a combination of the colored bead bars that equates to 10.  In our case, I just used the paired sets that we worked on.  Here I showed Vito that the combinations of beads we used equals to 10 by placing the golden beads on the left side, and the colored bead bars on the right.
• 2 blue bars (5) equates to 10
• purple bar (6) and yellow (4) equates to 10
• dark blue bar (9) and red (1) equates to 10

There are so many ways and combinations that you can explore so the child can practise and eventually memorize the combinations that makes a 10.

You can check a more advanced work here from years ago with Mavi (mostly random not perfect 10).  We will be working on each of the cards I made here to prepare Vito for the random snake game activity when he progresses.

Video Demonstration