Montessori-approved materials to take on the decimal system? The Golden Beads will take your counting kiddo from 1 to 1000.
Plus other Montessori-inspired educational bead counting toys suitable for young children — even if they’re not “Montessori” by definition. We’re here to learn math and have fun, yeah?
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Best Montessori Math Beads and Golden Beads for Counting, Decimals, Place Values
- (01) Elite Montessori Ultimate Golden Bead Material
- (02) Wooden Toys for You Montessori Math Golden Bead Material
- (03) Elite Montessori Bead Hanger + Checker Board Beads Learning Material
- (04) Melissa & Doug Primary / Secondary Color Lacing Beads + String
- (05) Papa Don’s “Made in USA” Wooden Montessori Threading Bead Set
- (06) Elite Montessori Large or Small Bead Frame
- (07) hand2mind Mini 100-Bead Rekenrek for Kids Math
- (08) Melissa & Doug Wooden Counting Beads Abacus (Add / Subtract)
- (09) Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Counting Abacus Toy
- (10) All Alive Natural Alder Wood Math Development Abacus
- (11) Mamarkt Designs Boho Rainbow Wooden Abacus Counting Toy
- (12) Bonus: Montessori Golden Bead / Bead Stair Printables (Low-Cost Alternative)
(01) Elite Montessori Ultimate Golden Bead Material
The golden beads material is a very visual resource, which allows children to conceptualize the decimal system, and after that, facilitate the process to perform mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
When children hold a golden unit bead they feel that it is very small and that they can even hide it between their fingers. Unlike when they pick up a cube with 1000 golden beads they have to do it with both hands feeling the difference in volume and weight.
This game allows children to visualize in two ways: it brings the numbers on wooden cards to represent the decimal system, and also a quantity of golden beads that allows them to distinguish between units, tens, hundreds and thousands.
The cards with the numbers are ideal for transferring the manipulative material to writing.
In particular, this set is divided as follows:
100 units of golden beads with a wooden tray, 45 bars of golden beads of 10 (tens) contained in a wooden box, 10 squares of golden beads of 100 (hundreds), 45 wooden squares of 100, 1 cube of golden beads of thousand. The set also includes: 9 wooden cubes of 1000, number cards from 1 to 9000, 3 large wooden trays, 6 cups of beads.
The numbers are represented by colors, alluding to the decimal system green, red and blue, according to the Montessori guide.
If for example we want to practice the representation of the number 1142, we must decompose the quantity according to the decimal system, we will take 1 cube of 1000 golden beads, 1 board of 1 hundred of wood, 4 strips of 10 golden beads and in a cup we place 2 golden beads, in this way, visually the child can quantify the abstraction of the number initially presented in wooden chips. If we want to introduce addition with this system, it will be enough to do this procedure twice with the numbers to be added, and join all the beads so that units are paired with units, tens with tens, hundreds with hundreds and thousands with thousands, for this serves as a guide to place the numbers according to the color format.
If on the other hand you want to start presenting this game in a smaller and more economical format, the Elite Montessori Store on Amazon offers all sorts of golden beads variations.
You can choose additional beads for larger operations, or even buy the hanger to hang beads with numbers. The set of golden beads comes with different accessories that can be added to the original version that has been proposed.
(02) Wooden Toys for You Montessori Math Golden Bead Material
A material with which the perception of numbers and the decimal system can be introduced to children, is this handmade set made of birch wood and completely ecological, within the range of the game of golden beads.
This box brings the representation of 1 unit (1 golden bead), 1 ten (10 golden beads), 1 hundred (1 square with 100 holes) and a thousand (1 cube formed by 1000 golden beads).
With this material the child is allowed to sensorially experience the differences between the categories, not only in bulk but also in shape and weight. The unit bead, ten bars, one hundred squares and one thousand cubes clearly show the geometric progression of the decimal system; each category is ten times the previous one. This initial presentation is very important to understand these differences.
(03) Elite Montessori Bead Hanger + Checker Board Beads Learning Material
The golden bead hanger is a great resource that we can show to children from 4 years old and upwards. It is a hanger that brings metal hooks to hang the different combinations of strips of beads and to form the numbers from 11 to 19. It is the continuation of the decimal system, so the child must recognize the decimal system to use the material. It has a slot at the top to place the number tiles on the hooks, and at the bottom, some segments with 9 strips of 10 beads each and a scale of beads from 1 to 9.
This game if shown to children from the age of 4 years, will serve for fine motor skills, to be able to fit the beads on the hooks and identify the amount of colored beads to the numbers.
All the material is made of wood, and the beads are made of plastic.
The montessori bead box is a material that can be used with the golden bead rack, because it contains 20 bars of beads of each color from 1 to 9 in a wooden box. What can be proposed with this material is very varied, being mainly the use to represent quantities and that the child visualizes as many beads as the mathematical figure, to see it and that it is tangible, not in the abstraction of the number. The colors of the beads are raised according to the montessori method, also helps the child to develop order, concentration, coordination, independence and accuracy given the segmentation of the wooden box where they come.
(04) Melissa & Doug Primary / Secondary Color Lacing Beads + String
This game can be introduced to children between 3 and 5 years old because the size of the beads and the shape are bigger. It is used for children to begin to sort the beads by color, to sort by shape, to improve fine motor skills by wanting to fit the string into the hole of the wooden bead, and later to count the numbers.
It comes with 32 thick wooden beads, 2 cords for the child to insert the beads and a wooden box for storage and transport. A game that offers the child different mathematical, motor and classification alternatives.
(05) Papa Don’s “Made in USA” Wooden Montessori Threading Bead Set
A wooden threading game with needle and hemp string especially for babies from 18 months old. All materials are ecological and handmade, so that the little ones enjoy a resource that allows them to improve hand-eye coordination, as they must thread 25 wooden pieces of different colors and sizes, through a wooden needle and a cord with a plug base.
Older children can also sort the wooden pieces by color, and even count them. It is a basic Montessori material that accompanies the little ones and allows them to take advantage of it as they grow. The pieces are non-toxic and the size of the rings and beads are 2 inches, I suggest adult supervision when using it.
(06) Elite Montessori Large or Small Bead Frame
This large bead frame provides the child with a physical resource for understanding the decimal system associated with multiplication. The frame is made of wood and measures 12×15 inches, and consists of 7 wire bars along which the beads can be moved.
Each line of beads is colored to represent ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, red hundreds, thousands and millions as indicated on the left vertical side of the frame.
The large bead frame forms the bridge to abstraction for multiplication exercises in the decimal system.
(07) hand2mind Mini 100-Bead Rekenrek for Kids Math
A highly recommended choice of abacus in mini format for the smallest of the house. The introduction of counting and numbers according to Montessori is based on the manipulative and visual, and through the two-color abacus, we can teach children from 2 years to identify colors, quantity, and then both simple addition and subtraction. The abacus measures 10 x 7 inches and is made of wood with metal bars. It allows counting up to 100.
(08) Melissa & Doug Wooden Counting Beads Abacus (Add / Subtract)
This wooden abacus with the rainbow scale is perfect to initiate counting in the little ones, and at the same time teach the process of addition one by one. It is represented in the scale of 9 to 1, and comes with two wooden boards that are inserted in the middle of the abacus, to be used as a guide for addition, subtraction or simply color grouping. With the mathematical operation printed on the back of each marble, the child can quickly visualize that each marble, if grouped one on top of the other, increases the amount of the number, and the opposite is the case if subtracted.
It is a very versatile material, which can be suitable for children from 2 years old to identify colors and practice fine motor skills by moving the marbles, and after that, move on to numbers and counting.
(09) Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Counting Abacus Toy
This wooden abacus is presented in its original rectangular shape, with vibrant colors in each of its rows composed of 10 small balls. It teaches children to count up to 100, add, subtract and multiply.
When the fingers are exhausted trying to add, the abacus comes to the rescue to do sums of larger numbers. Without a doubt, this manual calculator is an excellent resource that can be presented to children from 2 years old, as an introduction to colors, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and after that, the construction of numbers and mathematical operations.
(10) All Alive Natural Alder Wood Math Development Abacus
A handmade abacus for children made in Ukraine with recycled wood materials. It has 10 rows with 10 beads in each one to count from 1 to 100. It can be used both standing and lying down because of the structure in which it was made, and it is very resistant. It is also a material that allows children to represent addition, subtraction and multiplication, and practice the number sequence. It has a large size of 20 x 17 inches, making it easy for the child to handle the beads. It comes in pastel shades.
(11) Mamarkt Designs Boho Rainbow Wooden Abacus Counting Toy
In the best boho chic style, this baby abaco toy is ideal. For a montessori environment in neutral tones, this material is durable and beautiful to look at. It is made of maple wood and is non-toxic for babies. It can be used from 1 year of age, to start with the manipulation of movement, textures, pincer grasp with fingers, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and then counting numbers from 1 to 50, because it only brings 5 rows with 10 beads each.
(12) Bonus: Montessori Golden Bead / Bead Stair Printables (Low-Cost Alternative)
Montessori Golden Beads Activity Starter-Pack → Miss Bunting Store on Etsy
This downloadable option includes 50 activities in pdf format to print and practice mathematical operations using as reference the montessori pearls game and the decimal system. Nothing is sent in physical format, all the representations are sent in digital format, ready to print. Includes activities on: making quantities in hundreds, tens and units. Make numbers from quantities and practice addition.
Golden Beads Printable Math Resource → Little Spark Company on Etsy
This 60-page pdf package includes the entire set of printable montessori golden beads. Here the entire concept is displayed on one side, but it is an economical option and equally easy for children to understand. The format of the image resource is of very good quality, and the number cards are large in size. Preferably it should be printed in color and the sheets should be laminated for greater durability with handling. It has some examples of how to present the material to the child and different exercises to represent the numbers with the golden beads.
Colored Bead Stair Printable → Blue Bells & Bells on Etsy
A digital resource created with a beautiful design to represent the montessori color pearl ladder. The downloadable is a pdf file that contains in images the staircase one by one of the montessori color scale. It can be cut out by number and color, plus it includes games for children to select the correct answer of the ladder of pearls versus the number, color the pearls according to the montessori color designation, and practice writing the numbers following the dots on the images. This is an excellent material to teach the numbers in a scale from 1 to 10, in a very economical format but with great detail.