Our math materials at 4.5 years

I was recently asked by a reader of my blog about what Math materials I have at home for my 4 year old. You may have seen pictures of all of these materials before in previous posts, but I thought that I would put them all together in the one post to make it easier to search for.

Now that my 4.5 year old attends a Montessori preschool during the week and has been doing ‘Number work’ with her teacher (Directress), I haven’t been setting up any specific lessons anymore not unless I get asked a specific question as I think it’s too much at this stage. Otherwise we have the following materials on my daughter’s shelves for her to work with;

maths-tinker-box
Math tinker box.
sandpaper-letters
Sandpaper numbers, chalk and a chalk board.
Number writing practice
A self-directed number writing activity on our two sided chalk board. One side with straight lines and this side with squares. Can be used for number or letter writing.
Sand tray numbers
Sand writing tray with a clear base. Here we are using coloured sand but you can use salt as well.
timer
Timers. These are fun to work with (using one whilst brushing teeth for example).
cash-box-with-aus-coins-and-notes
Coin box (cash box) with coins at the top and notes underneath. Mostly used to play ‘shops’.
printed-hundred-chart
I printed this chart about two years ago for reference and it is used a lot, mostly as a number line 1-20 (addition and subtraction).

Number writing.jpg

clocks
Our wooden clock on the left has been popular. The one on the right not so much. I think my eldest prefers the simplicity of our regular wall clock. She also likes to tell the time digitally from the clock in our car and has been using a watch for a while now.

I have wondered at times If I should have purchased certain materials such as the sand tray, sandpaper letters as they are materials found in my daughter’s Montessori preschool class and it’s not normally recommended to have those specific learning materials at home if they are being used at school. Makes sense. Even though I purchased ours years back, I can understand now that they aren’t really focused on for the most part until a child is closer to 4.5 years (or when they are ready which is sometimes earlier). The focus for children 3-4.5 years is more on the Practical Life and Sensorial materials which are a prerequisite to the Language and Math materials. My daughter’s Teacher is aware that we have these materials at home and also where her interests lye at home in this area as this was discussed at our recent ‘Parent/Teacher Interview’.

From what I have gathered talking to my eldest she is currently working on the addition snake game and has been practicing number writing in a special note book at school. What I do know from observation at home, she likes to practice writing numbers and sums (addition and subtraction) on the chalk board or on paper, reading the clock (analogue and digital), working with our Australian play currency (giving the correct change for example) and skip counting at the moment in tens….not sure where she learnt that from. Interestingly this is all self-directed work.

Further reading; Literacy at home with my 4 year old


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