My $2 Spindle Box

In my monthly trip to the dollar store to hunt down potential materials, I was THRILLED to find this funky little ice cube tray.  I counted the compartments and with 10, they became the perfect spindle box to use with Carter.  I also found a bag of 200 Easter foam sticker shapes.  The ducks became the numerals needed for the ice cube tray to spindle box transformation.  55 toothpicks became the spindles.  (Note: the Montessori spindle box goes from 0-9)

I work with only my son and I know that he can identify the numbers 1-10.  However, if you aren’t sure, make sure that your child can identify the numerals before moving forward with counting the spindles.  The control of error with this activity is that there are exactly the right number of spindles needed to fill the compartments.  If your child reaches the end and does not have enough or has spindles left over, an error was made.  Happy counting!

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!


My Pink Tower Solution

The Nature Tower

I suppose that I’ve relied on my own interest in words and reading to drive Carter’s focus up until now.  Though I haven’t totally veered away from math concepts, I certainly don’t make them our main focus.  Thankfully, Carter picks up a lot from listening and observing others so he hasn’t suffered much in his understanding of shapes, counting, or number formation and identification.

The Pink Tower is the first math material that Maria Montessori introduces.  We have not yet been able to purchase our own Montessori materials, so we are finding ways to adapt and teach the same skills in creative ways.  When I saw these Nature Nesting Blocks in a discount bin, I knew that they would make the perfect Pink Tower lesson.  As we learn, explore and read about weather this month, these blocks fit in perfectly with beautiful images of thunderstorms, rain, snow, rainbow, the seasons and clouds.

We lay the blocks out, talked about the photos, counted them and talked about the differences in size.  I demonstrated stacking them from largest to smallest, then I let Carter give it a try.  I really like that the control of error is automatic – the tower will fall down if the blocks aren’t ordered correctly.  These blocks are going to make a great addition to our daily activity shelf.

Here are nice, affordable printable pink tower cards.