Feb 192018

Montessori Lesson


4 years approx.


A wooden box in two sections, each section has 5 compartments.
The compartments are marked from 0 to 9.
There are 45 spindles in a wooden box.


To teach the child that numbers can represent a collection of separate objects.


To give the child an experience of zero.


  1. Begin the work cycle.
  2. Ask the child to lay out a table or floor mat.
  3. The child carries the boxes to the table one by one.
  4. Look at the spindle with the child and name it.
  5. Point to the one on the box and say “one”.
  6. Place one spindle in your left hand and say “one”.
  7. Place the spindle in the appropriate compartment and again say “one”.
  8. Point to the next number and ask the child what number it is.
  9. The child says two. You count two spindles, singly, into your hand. Close your hand around the spindles showing the child how we get a muscular impression of the quantity.
  10. Now transfer them to the child’s hand, again one by one and invite the child to feel how “two” spindles feel.
  11. Ask the child to count them into the “two” compartment. He should do so singly again.
  12. Invite the child to continue. You may have to point to the numbers initially so that the child can get the idea.
  13. Draw the child’s attention to the empty compartment and invite the child to feel inside it. Ask him what he feels and his response will be “nothing”. Reinforce to the child that nothing is the same as “zero” or “nought”.
  14. Show the child how to pack the spindles back into the box and how to return the work to the shelf.


  1. The same as exercise 1 except that the child uses ribbons or elastic bands to tie each group of two to nine spindle into a bundle before placing them into the their partition.
  2. Show the child how to use the short ribbons first and then the longer ones for the larger numbers.


The quantities are loose and the numbers are fixed.
There are only enough spindles for each compartment.

  One Response to “Montessori Spindle Box Lesson Activity, Age 3 to 6”

  1. Excellent work, thanks

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