One of the biggest challenges in this daily working mom juggle is finding the time and energy to play after getting home from the office. That's why I leave-behind play trays ready in her room so inspiration and energy takes a lot less effort.
This idea is Montessori-inspired and easy to do, which frankly are two things that don't often go together, in this lazy mama's opinion. So I'm sharing this little hack with you to tweak for your preschooler or early elementary lovey. We did this last year for Valentines:
If you haven't heard of the hundred board yet, don't leave this post.
It's an amazingly simple Montessori material - a 10x10 grid of the numbers 1 to 100 - that helps with counting, recognizing numbers, adding, subtracting, and number patterns in multiplication.
|Image from Alison's Montessori|
The amount of information and activities Montessori's have come up with on the hundred board is completely overwhelming to me. This simple post by Buggy and Buddy is the easiest basic read I've found with simple ways to get started.
Now how to get a hundred board?
There is an app for this which I downloaded back in her preschool days. Meh.
Not as satisfying as working with the real thing.
This is where for the very first time I think it's worth a printable. I normally hate, hate, hate printables because they give me an inferiority complex of never actually getting around to print (much less laminate) the damn things. If you're like me, I promise this is an exception. Follow this link by Buggy and Buddy to a freebie template to print the grid and tiles at home.
Okay, but I still cheated my way out of this effort.
Luckily her math-whiz cousin happened to have one that we borrowed (for half a year, haha).
On to the game!
During our floor time together after work, I'd bring out the hundred board and say we were going to play a sticker game. I give her an equation to solve and she marks the board with a sticker. We do one or two a night, and it went on for many nights.
She was mastering addition then so those were what I'd give her. Paired with our handy number sticks, it was a great way to squeeze in math practice every night without (ugh) worksheets.
|Our handy makeshift whiteboards are always ready. As are our number sticks - four years and counting.|
Depending on what you want your lovey to master, you can call out a number to practice place value for early preschoolers, all the way to a multiplication or division equation for the older child.
Yes, we do this in bed. Don't judge.
|I keep the hundred board on that clear tray with the stickers, whiteboard and marker.|
|These stickers are from her art shelves - we've had them handy since she was two.|
I kept this going for a good lazy month all the way to Valentines. One or two equations every few days or so. From simple addition mastery, I also used some days to see to whether she could handle dynamic addition.
It became a useful way to keep learning about my daughter. See, I grew up learning math the traditional way so I've found that sometimes I end up derailing her Montessori curriculum when I teach the way I learned. So these moments are good parenting practice for me to strike a balance of testing her, teaching her, and hanging back patiently to see how she would solve equations.
Thank goodness for number sticks as our common language!
|Coming along midway point. One thing that keeps this going as play for us: she gives ME equations to do, too. |
That way I'm not being a teacher, we're playmates.
Sometimes I mix it up by using the abacus instead of the number sticks:
And here we are all done!
|Happy Valentines, Sweetie!|
If you've been following our little space on Instagram, you'll see some other ways we use the hundred board to play together. I finally ordered a legit one! Oooh, come see:
|Our spiffy new hundred board ordered from Montessori On Mars. |
Finally you can get the real stuff in the Philippines. Cost: 1,650 pesos.
- Finding Number Patterns Using a Hundred Chart by Buggy and Buddy is an easy start
- Montessori Hundred Board by Planting Peas with adorable videos that will make you wish you were a homeschooler
- Hundred Board Activities Practicing Logic by Pinay Homeschooler is great for some preschool mastery
- 30+ Things to Do with a Hundred Board by Denise Gaskins is already overwhelming but I found a few easy gems
There's more easy Montessori for the working mom in this gallery here:
Or other easy play ideas to do after-work in this gallery here: