Although free math learning opportunities are present in regular every day life, I’m so happy that we bought a Montessori Wood Hundred Board.
The Hundred Board is among our favorite math resources, and I highly recommend it for preschoolers and elementary school students!
Tips for teaching math at home
This post is part of a series on teaching Math at home:
- How I Taught My Daughter Basic Math For Free and Without Workbooks
- How to Count in Chinese and English with Montessori Materials
- 10+ Ways to Use a Wooden Hundred Board (This article)
- 10+ Ways to Use a Free Printable Hundred Chart
- Multiplication Chart and Pythagoras Board
- Teach Kids Time with Hands-On Clock Activities
- Interactive Calendar Learning Printables
Why we love the Montessori Hundred Board
When it comes to children’s education, nothing beats hands-on experiences. A strong math foundation begins with touching, feeling, and holding various items while observing, sorting, and evaluating their quantity, shape, and size.
Initially, I was not planning on buying a physical board since my daughter loves to use our free printable Hundred Chart. But our wood Hundred Board has been a worthwhile investment. My two children we have used very frequently over the past 2 years!
In addition to strengthening fine motor skills, my kids have enjoyed color patterning as well as counting and skip counting practice!
Where to buy the Hundred board
In my opinion, I prefer the Treasures from Jennifer board over the the traditional Montessori Hundred board. The round dimples make the board so versatile.
Available in beautifully finished, dark walnut or light maple wood, the board comes with colorful wool balls or wood balls.
10+ ways to use the wooden Montessori Hundred Board
I’m excited to show you how my children have been using the Montessori Hundred Board for playful learning!
Please note that small objects used with this board should be placed out of reach from babies and toddlers who are mouthing objects due to the risk of choking.
1. Sort pompoms by color in a Hundred Board
An easy way to start using the board is to sort the wool pom poms by color!
2. Count rocks, pom poms, and other small objects with a Hundred Board
We have had a lot of fun counting rocks and pom poms! While placing one object in a dimple, you can practice counting out loud slowly and carefully with your child.
The engraved lines divide the board into 4 quadrants and also separate each row into groups of 5. This will help a child “subitize” numbers, essentially the ability to eyeball a number of items quickly without counting each item individually.
After we counted our colorful crystals, we sorted the colors by row into a rainbow! As you can see, the benefits include strengthening fine motor skills, learning patterns, visual discrimination, and creating art!
3. Learn 1:1 correspondence with a Hundred Board
The little round dimples are perfect for teaching 1:1 correspondence. We placed 1 rock next to number 1, 2 rocks next to number 2, 3 rocks next number 3, and so forth.
Tip: Teach the number symbol only after the child understands the concept of rational counting rather than rote counting.
4. Arrange the numbers chronologically in a Hundred Board
The number coins are a necessary add-on, and they are great for teaching number sequencing.
If your child has trouble finding the correct number, you can group the coins by 10s so the desired number is easier to find.
5. Learn even and odd numbers with a Hundred Board
With the pom poms and number coins, you can demonstrate how even and odd number patterns.
6. Learn how to skip count with a Hundred Board
Here’s an example of skip counting by 3s! As a control, my daughter uses our printable Hundred Chart for reference to check her skip counting work independently.
7. Hundred board: practice addition / subtraction with a dice game!
Dice games are a really fun way that we practice math! Starting with an empty board, roll a dice, and add that quantity of balls. Then roll again and add that many. Continue until the board is full.
Alternatively, start with a full board, roll a dice, and subtract that quantity of balls. Then roll again and add that many. Continue until the board is empty.
8. Strengthen fine motor skills with play dough!
My daughter loves to mold different shapes with play dough, and she especially likes to pretend to make little mochi balls! We have rolled so many together and are now experts in making them smooth and similar in size!
9. Multiplication Board
Since Treasures from Jennifer accepts requests for customization, you can request the number coins for the Multiplication table!
Before getting this versatile hundred board, I bought the red Montessori Pythogoras Multiplication Board. In hindsight, I probably did not need both boards!
If you have limited space and budget, getting one board with different number coin sets is something to consider.
10. Build words with letters
We recently got English alphabet coins to practice building words!
Following the Montessori colors, red is for consonants and blue is for vowels. Since my daughter tends to skip the vowel when she’s sounding out words to spell, the blue color is a helpful reminder for her.
11. Teach geographic coordinates
You can use the engraved lines to represent latitude (north-south) and longitude (east-west) coordinates of a map!
For example, you can put a pom pom at the coordinate that is 4 degrees west and 7 degrees south from the center.
12. Introduce graphing concepts
The engraved lines can also represent X and Y axis of a graph, and you can teach positive and negative numbers by designating the middle point as 0.
For example, you can look for -5 on the X axis by moving 5 dimples to the left of the center.
What do you think of the hundred board?
More math activities and resources for kids
- 5 Easy Fine Motor Math Activities with Hole-Punched Leaves!
- More fun counting and math activities for children
- Montessori Inspired Educational Toys and Homeschool Materials on Etsy
- 数学帮帮忙 Chinese Math Story Books (Bilingual Simplified Chinese and English)