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Montessori Materials Spotlight - Number Rods

The Number Rods are a great tool to help your child understand numbers and how they are represented symbolically. This hands-on approach will help them build a solid foundation in numeracy.

Benefits and Points to Note:

  • The Number Rods provide a concrete and hands-on way for children to learn about numbers and their symbolic representation.
  • The sequential lessons will help your child become more familiar with counting and recognizing numbers.
  • It's important to handle and store the rods correctly and to count the rods each time you use them to reinforce the learning process.

The Number Rods offer a fun and interactive way for children to learn about numbers and build a strong foundation in numeracy. By following the instructions, taking note of the benefits and points to note, and providing a structured approach, your child can develop their understanding of numerals and counting.

What you'll need:

  • A set of Number Rods
  • Two long mats

When handling the rods, make sure to carry them the same way as the Red Rods. When storing the rods, arrange them with the red parts together to show the odd and even numbers on opposite ends, using the red and blue partitions.


  1. Have your child bring a mat and place it in a convenient location.
  2. Both of you go to the shelf and retrieve the rods. Explain to your child that they should be arranged in the same way as the Red Rods.
  3. Place the rods on the mat in the correct order, making sure that the red section is on the left.
  4. Once all the rods are in place, remove rods 1 to 3 from the formation.
  5. Start with a three-part lesson on these first three rods. Begin by saying, "This is one." Then count it together, tapping each partition deliberately. Repeat this process for the next two rods.
  6. During the first period, go through the numbers in sequence.
  7. For the second period, ask your child to show you two, then count it together. Repeat this for one. Continue the second period until your child is ready to move on. Remember to count the rods each time you use them!
  8. Continue with the third period.
  9. End the first lesson after introducing the first three rods if your child is struggling or losing interest. If their interest remains high, proceed with the rest of the rods.
  10. You and your child can put the rods away together.
  11. In a subsequent lesson, once your child has reviewed the first three rods, present the remaining rods.

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