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Help Your Child Understand Quantities and Numbers

A client I worked with recently asked how she could encourage her young daughter to become comfortable with mathematical concepts at an early age.

In the Montessori approach to education, we believe your child will start to develop a mathematical mind when they can draw the link between the symbol of a number and its associated quantity. For example, when looking at the literal number “6” as it is written out on a piece of paper, they begin to understand it figuratively equates to six tangible objects or items.

Playing a matching game with them to reinforce this notion will help them to foster this important concept. In small pouches you can place a numeric symbol for them to look at, in secrecy, as you then ask them to produce that quantity from items in your home environment – beads, anything around the house, pens/pencils/forks/wood chips.

It’s a game not to just see the symbol and count, but to actually go and get the specific quantity. Though we don’t typically test children in the Montessori learning environment, this game is somewhat of a fun “quiz,” which allows you to verify their results. When you observe out loud that they have correctly obtained a number’s corresponding quantity, you will be validating their newfound skill.

Memory Game of Numbers by Jeanne Marie Paynel from voilamontessori.com


The true sign of a mathematical mind is when a child can seamlessly match a number with a given quantity. Find out about a game of numbers which helps them to develop an understanding of this fundamental skill.

Do you struggle to come up with engaging activities for your child or feel uncertain about how to properly set-up your home? Let’s Talk to get some suggestions and answers!

2 thoughts on “Help Your Child Understand Quantities and Numbers”

  • Benita says:

    Beautiful. What activities would precede this if one is without the Montessori beads and sandpaper numbers?

    • Jeanne-Marie Paynel says:

      This activity is before any beads. the number rods, then rods and cards, the spindle box and numbers and counters. If you do not have access to Montessori math material what is important is to talk about math every day. Ask for numbers etc.

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