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Toddler Talk: Counting Rods

We work on counting a lot in preschool, and many younger kids also enjoy working on these skills at home. Here are two quick (and easy) ideas for making your own counting rods. These are fun and engaging, and you can make them using counting items that fit your child’s interest.

Block Counting Rods

You will need:

Wooden blocks

Medium wooden dowels

Counting Items (I used wooden craft circles) that fit your dowels

Numbers (optional)

I used hot glue to attach my dowels to the wooden blocks. I put all of my wooden circles in a container, and then set out two small containers with tiny wooden numbers. Kids can match the wooden number to the number of circles on the dowel.

Box Counting Rods

You will need:

Boxes (of any shape or size). I used the small boxes you find at any craft store

Small wooden dowel (I cut a large one into four smaller pieces)

Wooden beads to help attach your dowels to your boxes

Counting objects that fit your dowels

Numbers (optional)

Small dowels are kind of hard to attach to a box with only glue. I used hot glue and a wooden bead to get mine to stay up.

The fun part is finding things that your child will enjoy counting to put inside the boxes. My kiddos are very into animals right now, so I filled one box with animal shaped beads. I also used plain beads, colorful wooden beads, and plastic beads of many colors.

To finish this set of counting rods I put out a large wooden number set with numbers 1-10. Kids can use them how they wish. One idea is to match the wooden number to the number of pieces on their counting rod.

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