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Montessori-inspired Math Activities Using Bead Bars w/ Free Printables

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I first introduced Montessori Beads to the kiddos two years ago.  It was a complete failure.  This summer I tried again.  The kiddos went nuts over them and LOVE them.  FINALLY!  Bulldozer enjoys them the most and uses them on a daily basis.  Dinomite is still a little hesitant, but mostly because he doesn't know the number and color correlation.  Princess enjoys using them while practicing her skip counting, and has started using them while completing addition and subtraction activities.

Now that the beads are welcomed on our shelves, I thought it would be great to give the kiddos an official introduction to the beads.  The activities are simple, but by the end of the week, I'm certain Dinomite will know his number and color correlation.  The first activity in this post will be on Sunshine's preschool activity shelves as well!

My Number Book
The kiddos will use the control cards provided as well as bead bars to color and write on each page of their book.  I'm excited to use this activity as an opportunity to review how to spell numbers with the older kiddos.  It's my hope that Sunshine will enjoy her own book, and that it will help her continue to learn her numbers while introducing her to the Montessori bead bar colors.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Montessori-inspired Math Bead Bar Activity Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Number Identification with Bead Bars
This is yet another activity to reinforce the number and color correlation of the bead bars.  The kiddos will use a glass bead to mark the correct answer on each card.  When I first introduced this activity, I printed out cards that required the kiddos to color the bead bars, before marking their answers.  This version of the card is available in the printable.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Montessori-inspired Math Bead Bar Activity Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Teen Numbers with Bead Bars
Over the past few weeks, I've noticed that Bulldozer was struggling when attempting to create teen numbers with the bead bars.  Since we do not yet have a Teens Board, I created this activity hoping that it would do the trick.  Sure enough, it has!  The kiddos match up bead cards with number cards, demonstrating their skills using the real Montessori beads.  You will need Montessori Bead Bars for Teen Board when doing this activity.  

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Montessori-inspired Math Bead Bar Activity Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Addition Using Bead Bars
It's been a while since we had an addition activity on our shelves.  Instead of using other manipulatives, we're using bead bars this week.  The problems on the cards are even printed using bead bars.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my Montessori-inspired Math Bead Bar Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Skip Counting By 4
Last week we worked on skip counting by 3's. This week we're moving on to 4's.  The kiddos are finally starting to get the hang of it.  I'm super excited!  In this activity the kiddos line up the bead bars, skip counting by 4's as they go, using the markers provided.

Source:  I created the free printable for this activity. For your fee copy, click HERE.  All skip counting makers are included in the printable.

Addition Snake Game
I'm a wee bit nervous about this last activity, as I've never done before now.  However, I feel the kiddos are finally ready for it.  This week I'll be introducing the Montessori Addition Snake Game!  If you're not familiar with how to play the "game," Youtube offers many video tutorials.  I've watched many of the videos myself and will probably watch another tomorrow before I introduce this to the kiddos during our gathering time.

For many children, math can be very intimidating when presented in textbooks or worksheets. For those with sensory issues or neurological problems, math is completely overwhelming.  Montessori knew that for these children, it isn't the math concept that is hard to grasp, it is the presentation that inhibits the child's ability to practice and master the concept.  The development of the bead bars and other math materials has transformed the way that young children learn math, regardless of sensory or developmental issues. 

Naturally, many children can learn math from worksheets just as easily as with bead bars. But, for those who lack the attention span and literacy skills to work problems on paper, like our Bulldozer, the bead bars are a perfect. I hope you can take the opportunity to experience this magical process with your own learners. 

For those interested in the printables, click on the link below:

For more fabulous Montessori-inspired Math ideas, activities, & printables be sure to check out other posts in the 12 Months of Montessori Learning Series!


  1. I LOVE these printables! :) I hope one day my Little Bee will love doing Montessori math. He is really young still and not interested yet in using the materials. So we are having fun counting on our fingers and counting objects. :) One day, I look forward to using the bead materials!

  2. We love our bead bars too! I can't wait to get to the next part, Montessori Math is so much fun! I love the printables you created.

  3. Oh! How cool! Thank you for the great ideas and the free printables! ;D

  4. As always, amazing printables! I may just have to put some out to entice Hen!

  5. The printables are fantastic. Thank you! I love the way you present the skip counting.

  6. We have beer bars we made, but I have been at a loss on extensions. This is perfect timing!

  7. So glad I found this! Many of my 4s in my Primary room are itching for more to do but but not quite ready to move on from bead work. How fabulous of you for sharing!

  8. This is fantastic Renae! Will keep this in mind for Vito :) I always love your presentation, so clear and spot-on. Thanks for sharing your activities!

  9. Thank you for linking up at the "Learn & Play" Thursday link party! You have been featured on the CMN blog! :)

  10. Always an inspiration here! We are happy to feature your post at the Learn & Play Link up on Christian Montessori Network. Thank you so much for joining the party!

  11. I had not seen this beads before. What a great activity and printables you made to go with them. Thank you for linkup at #made4kids! Look forward to seeing you again this Sunday starting at 10pim EST.

  12. Love all your cute Kindergarten work! Makes me want to start teaching Kindergarten again!Take care

    kids Kindergarten

  13. Do you have a similar printable for 1-10 as you do for your teen numbers? I would love that printable. or could you point me in the direction of one similar?

    1. Yes I do! It's in our amazing Montessori Math Bead Bar Printable Pack Bundle with several other amazing printables. You can find it here.


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