Adrian 38 months Feed

Christmas Odd and Even Math lesson (Numerals and Counters)

Montessori math curriculum is generally introduced in the following order: (1) Number Rods (the first material to introduce to a child at about two years of age), then (2) Sandpaper Numbers, (3) Spindle Box, (4) Numbers Memory Game, followed by Odd and Even activity (also called cards and counters). You can use a traditional Montessori Numerals and Counters (like here) or you can make it yourself (you would need numbers 1-10, and 55 round counters (you can use marbles, wooden dots etc). The activity teaches obviously what odd and even number is.

Presentation: place numbers in random order on the rug since you want to make sure that your child knows numbers one through ten before introducing a concept of odd/even. You would then ask your child to set numbers from one through ten horizontally at the top of the rug.

DSC_0142You would then ask your child to give you one counter to place under number 1, then two counter to place under number 2 etc...

You would position counters in pairs, making it obvious for your child to see when a number has a counter without a pair (on its own)- meaning that number is odd. Versus when all counters have a complete set of pairs (two friends are holding hands) that number is even.  


DSC_0142I would suggest introducing this material not earlier than three years of age, since although concrete, this activity still introduces a very abstract concept of odd vs even. Adrian just turned 38 months, and the concept of odd and even numbers was confusing, even with all the visual counters, so I will wait a month and re-introduce it later.

Vincent van Gogh - Introducing The World's Greatest Artists Series

Although, I have been introducing art to Adrian in a form of prints and books (not to mention different art projects), it is time to begin our theory art curriculum, by starting to introduce some of the great artists. Today, we are learning about Vincent van Gogh - one of the most talented, although tragic artists. Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists (buy here) is a wonderful series to introduce fine art and famous artists to a child. The author uses cartoon like illustrations and jokes to deliver complicated messages to a child, and he does a great job! Julia loves this series! 

DSC_0018To the left is Julia's Sunflower art she painted with watercolors at six years old.

In the Garden with Van Gogh board book series is a fun way to introduce fine art to smaller children. The sleepy trees, golden haystacks, and juicy fruits of In the Garden with Van Gogh will delight even the littlest ones. Adrian has been enjoying this book since he was one year old. Each of artist's timeless paintings is accompanied by a simple four line playful rhyming text.

Children also put together  The Starry Night and Sunflowers jigsaw puzzles. The box says 3+ however, pieces are very similar looking, so Adrian had to recruit Julia's help to finish them. 

We are also using Van Gogh Dover Postcards, which I cut out and laminated for durability. Later, the cards can be used for sorting into still life, portraits, and landscape. 

Below is a video of an amazing form of art! I could not resist but to share :) 

"Turkish ebru artist Garip Ay creates dreamy pieces of art. Ebru, also know as decorative paper art, is one of the oldest Turkish arts described as painting on water. Colorful patterns are formed by sprinkling and brushing color pigments on a pan of oily water and then these patterns are transferred to paper."

Hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for the next great artist.

Read here Vincent Van Gogh Inspired 12 Sunflowers Tissue Paper Recycled Cardboard Roll Paper-Mache Craft for Children.

p.s. As a bilingual mother, I also try to introduce lessons in my native language. ะ”ะตั‚ะธ ะพั‡ะตะฝัŒ ะปัŽะฑัั‚ ะ’ัะตะผะธั€ะฝัƒัŽ ะšะฐั€ั‚ะธะฝะฝัƒัŽ ะ“ะฐะปะตั€ะตัŽ ะขั‘ั‚ัƒัˆะบะธ ะกะพะฒั‹. ะญั‚ะฐ ัะตั€ะธั ะฟะพ ั‚ะตะผะต, ะฟั€ะพ ั…ัƒะดะพะถะฝะธะบะฐ ะ’ะธะฝัะตะฝั‚ะฐ ะ’ะฐะฝ ะ“ะพะณะฐ. 



Christmas-inspired Shredded paper Sensory Bin with a Math twist

I believe that sensory play is extremely important for children. I love creating different themes, offering various textures/fillers, triggering different senses. During Christmas time, various sensory bins are a favorite of my children. They can explore independently, learn, stimulate their senses, and the best part is that the clean up is minimal since everything is contained (offer a large enough mat/blanket which you can just shake off).  

As Christmas is approaching, I decided to fill the bin with small christmas-inspired objects.  I chose shredded paper as a filler since I wanted the filler to be puffy, capable to containing  lots of tiny objects.  I sprinkled little jingle bells throughout to give the bin an auditory dimension. I also added scented pine cones (alternatively, you can use fresh pine branches or cloves) to give the sensory bin an olfactory dimension.  As a result, the sensory bin would stimulate four of the five of the main senses: tactile, visual, olfactory, auditory, leaving out only the sense of taste.DSC_0040

We are using this dishpan to contain our sensory play.




The first thing that drew each of children's attentions was this tiny nutcracker.  



DSC_0031Adrian smelling a scented pine cone.


I also added a twist to this sensorial activity, by incorporating mathematics. I made sure that each of the objects represents just one numeral: 

  • (1) snowmen
  • (2) scented pine cones
  • (3) little wooden nutcrackers
  • (4) wooden sleds
  • (5) candy canes
  • (6) colorful ornaments
  • (7) Santa stockings
  • (8) wrapped presents
  • (9) colorful light bulb ornaments
  • (10) jingle bells





Once all the objects were retrieved, Adrian had to sort them by groups, count how many are in each group, and match them to the corresponding numeral.   

DSC_0068Adrian really enjoyed the jingling sound the bells made.

DSC_0031Sensory bin's content is counted!

For more on Christmas-inspired sensorial exploration,  read:

  • Fill the Ornament Sensory Bin post here, and 
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Sensory Bin post here.

I  would love to hear your ideas on sensory play.