Cards and Counters

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Cards and Counters
Math - Numbers 0-10
Cards and Counters 6.JPG
Age3.5 - 4
PrerequisitesNumber Rods With Numerals
Spindle Boxes
Materialsnumeral cards 1-9
55 counters

This activity gives the child practice counting quantities up to 10. It also introduces the child to the concept of odd an even numbers.


  1. Carry the material to a mat. Lay out the numeral cards at the bottom of the mat in random order.
    Cards and Counters 1.JPG
  2. Find the card with the numeral "1", place it in the upper left corner of the mat.
    Find the next numeral card, then place a hand next to the first card to measure the space between the two.
    Cards and Counters 2.JPG
  3. Continue until all the numeral cards are placed along the top of the mat in the correct order.
    Cards and Counters 3.JPG
  4. Place one counter beneath the center of the numeral card "1".
    Cards and Counters 4.JPG
  5. Place two counters side by side beneath the numeral card "2".
    Cards and Counters 5.JPG
  6. Continue placing the appropriate number of counters beneath each numeral card. Place the counters in pairs, side-by-side. In the case of odd numbers, place the last counter centered below the bottom pair.
    Cards and Counters 6.JPG
  7. Show the child that some in some of the numbers, each of the counters has a partner. Slide your finger down the space in the middle from the top to the bottom.
    Cards and Counters 7.JPG
  8. Show the child that in some of the numbers there is one counter left over with no partner. Slide your finger down the space in the middle, but stop when you get to the single counter blocking the end.
    Cards and Counters 8.JPG

Points of Interest

Control of Error

  • There are exactly enough counters to complete the work. If at the end there are not enough, or if there are extra left over the child will know that there is a mistake.

Variations and Extensions

  • Turn the even cards over. Have the child turn his back and count the even numbers without looking.
  • Turn the odd cards over. Have the child turn his back and count the odd numbers without looking.
  • Have the child count by two's.


Direct Aim: 1. To present quantities and symbols 2. To distinguish between odd and even. Indirect Aim: 1. To prepare for dividing by two.


The counters should all be the same size, they should also all be the same color (a mix of colors might be fine for a child who is already familiar with the work).

Make your own

All sorts of materials could be used for the counters: buttons, dry beans, bottle caps, pennies, shells, stones, small erasers, puff balls, or glass drops.
Numerals could be printed or written on paper, card-stock, or wooden squares.

C and c pennies.JPG

C and c hearts 1.jpg C and c hearts 2.jpg
Source:Leptir Montessori Blog
WDWDAD cards & counters 1.jpg WDWDAD cards & counters 2.jpg
Source: What DID we do all day?

Where to Buy

Prices and links checked: 23 January 2022

With Number Cards
Store Price
Adena $34.15
Affordable Montessori $24.00
Alison's $33.07
Hello Wood $50.00
Kid Advance $19.99
Affordable Montessori $29.00
With Cut-Out Numbers
Store Price
Adena $13.58
Affordable Montessori $19.00
Alison's $37.00
Albanesi $44.00
Bruins $41.00
E & O $23.40
Kid Advance $13.99
Materials Co. of Boston $34.00
Montessori Concepts $14.00
Montessori Outlet $1.95
USA style print
Thinkamajigs $17.95
Store Price
Kid Advance
Montessori Outlet
100 items

Further Reading