Counting to 10 games is one of the most frequent fun activities with kids at home I’ve done with my 3yo girl. We have done it using our fingers, some veggie bits on her plate, wooden blocks, numbers on white/blackboard, and so on. This time we’re using these coloured wooden domino blocks.
But nope, I was not playing the normal counting to 10.
Since I’ve been very curious with Montessori home activities recently, I wanted to simulate their Montessori number rods‘ principle. (Psst! You can watch a video about the original number rods technique or read more here about other Montessori math learnings)
So here how we did it.
Activity: Counting to 10 with Wooden Dominos
Recommended age group: 3-6 years old
- coloured wooden dominos, preferably with blue and reds colors (or as far as possible, try to have two alternating colors to differentiate odd and even number)
- post it notes (or any small pieces of papers, really)
- pen/marker(or anything to write the number clearly)
Preparation time required: 5-10 minutes
Learning objectives: Counting to 10, introduction to number’s concrete, comparing length (shorter, longer), number sequencing.
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How to play
The basic principle in number rods method is to introduced the concrete numbers to the child, through adding by one each time.
First, I used one red block to represent “number 1”. Then, the next step, I used one red block followed by one blue block, arranged in lengthwise. So now we have it twice the length than the first one. This is to represent “number 2”.
Then number three would be red – blue – red blocks.
The rest of numbers are arranged in a similar fashion, alternating red and blue, the first section always being the red block.
I was short of reds here, so some of them I replaced it with pink/orange. I tried to limit only two colors of alternating blocks for each number being introduced.
At first, I already placed a piece of post-it with the corresponding numbers to each blocks arrangement, from “1” to “10”, just like the photo taken above.
Then now we can ask the child to start counting.
I asked miss U to count from one, by touching the first leftmost red block while saying “one”. And I pointed to the paper with the corresponding number on it.
Then move to the next; red and blue block, to be touched one after another, starting from the bottom to the top. Each while saying, “one, two”. Next; red – blue – red blocks. Touched them one after another from the bottom red, moving to the top. “One, two, three.” And we continued to the larger numbers.
Yaayy.. Miss U was busy with this for a while. She loved to try rearranging the blocks, counting them again, or paste – repasting the post it notes on the floor.
Adding further learning option
You can try not to paste the number cards first. Ask the child to count, and ask them to pick the correct number card, and paste it next to the blocks.
For your bigger kids you may also ask them to try writing the number on their own. Or ask them to spell the number. You can even change the post-it notes with small whiteboard/blackboard.
Other easy fun learning? Ask the child to count AND say the color of the block they’re touching!
When you have more than one kids to play
- They can take turn to get the correct number cards and paste it next to the blocks.
- You can prepare some rolled up pieces of paper written with the numbers (or you can spell out the nunbers). Ask the kids to take turn picking a number and put it next to the correct stack of blocks.
- Gather all the dominos blocks in a container. Each kid picks a number, then ask them to arrange the correct number of blocks on their own.
That’s it! Let me know if you try this at home with your kids!