Time for a tour of another one of our learning spaces. This time, the maths shelves! They have been getting a lot of use lately. Here they are…

As you can see, we have 2 shelves dedicated to maths materials. I do rotate some toys and materials to keep things fresh and also according to the kids interests. However, maths is one of the areas that never gets rotated. New things are added sometimes, the shelf might get a makeover, things are presented in different ways, but they are *always *available. I’ve written about how we do maths before here, but basically it’s a when-the-mood-strikes type situation. The kids are free to come and go as they please. They both love numbers though so something on these shelves gets used most days. On the left we have one of my favourite things, because well aren’t they just so pretty? I love these scales. The girls are learning about weight just by playing with them.

Wooden buttons and numbers for counting.

This is a little creation I made about a year ago, one day when my oldest was asking about reading big numbers. This helped her understand about hundreds, tens, and ones. She could turn the rolls to make any number she wanted and then practice reading it.

The tin on the shelf contains these mathematical drawing instruments. The girls use them to draw different shapes and measure things.

I love these wooden dice, which were a hand-me-down. And we also have some dominoes. Just by playing with these they get a lot of practice subitising. There’s also a wooden ruler, and behind this an egg timer.

The Cuisenaire Rods would have to be one of the kids favourite things on the shelf. They are used for so many things: representing numbers, working out problems, making patterns, building, as well as imaginary play. I’m not sure where ours are from but you can find some here.

In the little basket is a mixture of various printables we have used for certain things over time. There are shape cards, homemade ordinal number cards, a number line, and lots of different number cards (the ones pictured here can be found here).

The abacus is another favourite. Miss 5 learnt to skip count by 2s, 5s, and 10s by playing with it.

We also have a 100s chart sitting on the shelf which Miss 5 often uses.

And of course, on the bottom shelf is Spielgaben. If you’ve been following my weekly posts you’ll know I love it and the kids do too. It is used every single day.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into our maths space. What other materials do you use? How do you do maths at your place?

Want to see more? Check out our other learning spaces here.

Or read some more posts about how we approach maths here.

Firstly, I love your blog, thank you for sharing all your wonderful thoughts and ideas. I have a questions about the abacus – could you talk a little bit about how you use it? We have one, but I’ve realized I don’t actually know how to use it beyond simple addition. Thanks!

Hi Lois.

At this stage they mainly just play with it. They count to 100, skip count, use it for addition and subtraction, and make patterns. That’s about all so far at these ages 🙂

So many great (simple) maths materials!! Thanks, this has really got me thinking about the types of maths materials I might be able to start collecting. I found some wooden numbers at Spotlight last night was pretty excited (they had uppercase letters too!! & I really love your scales & cuisenare rods!! Might have to look into getting some of those!

Thanks Emma! The cuisinairre rods especially are very well used here.

So creative! I love this! I teach English and History and would be clueless with teaching math.

Thank you Sarah 🙂

It’s not as hard as it looks.

Good article and useful,, may be distributed to my friend?

Sorry use google translation,, (I’m bad english)

Thanks

BungaAsi.wordpress.com

Yes, you can share a link to this post 🙂

My daughter would love this shelf, it definitely makes maths look very inviting.

It gets a lot of use!

Oh I love your scales! I’ve just ordered some cuisinaire rods for the girls for Christmas (although I’m coveting a spielgaben set too)

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How do you keep this from being a constant mess? I feel like my 2 boys would turn this into a disaster area? My kids have so many toys and very well meaning relatives that constantly buy toys and chachkies. I have to find a place out of the kids reach to store a lot of things or we end up with every room of the house looking like a tornado hit it. How do you do it?

When things get like that for me I take it as a sign we have too much out. With fewer things they use them more and also look after them better. Also, have you read this post? – http://happinessishereblog.com/2014/10/stopped-asking-kids-clean/

Do you know where you found your 100s chart? I like the style of the numbers, as they are the way we would write them and thus would be easily identifiable to my almost-4-yr-old. I find that many things for preschool age are written in different fonts that are not similar to how we write them.