Sunday 6 January 2008

Montessori Swap Shop - swap one

I am sure I am not the only one who enjoyed doing swaps over the holiday season, which got me thinking about doing Montessori swaps. I am not making any promises but I am going to try and do a bimonthly swap for things that would be found useful in a Montessori environment.

For the first swap we will swap counting objects (nice easy one to get us going) so you need to provide 55 small objects to count such as frogs, horses, trees, apples etc. Try and choose something that can be incorporated into the Montessori  class themes.

If you want to join in the swap send an email to me with "counting swap" in the subject bar to

In your email please put 
1. your name 
2. country you are posting from 
3. what objects you want to send (frogs/cats etc)

The swap will close January 16th, I will send you an email with your swap partners information a few days after. Contact your partner and swap mailing addresses and then pop your swap items and maybe an intro letter about yourself and connection to Montessori in the post by the end of the month.

Future swaps - if you have any ideas or something you would like to swap then please leave a comment. The next swap - taking this one goes OK will be for a culture box but more ideas and suggestions are more than welcome.

I have had a couple of emails asking about what kind of objects, I am far from an expert but the things I have seen have been like these frogs or fish

Having more natural made objects I think is more desirable but practically it maybe difficult or expensive to find say 55 wooden elephants or whatever although there are some natural counters to be found such as shells or pine cones. From my understanding the reason for having different counters is to keep the exercises interesting and it also enables to the teacher to link counting with other topics being studied at the time. Maybe butterflies are the theme in biology, learning the parts of the butterfly and about it's life cycle and there are a number of butterfly books on the book shelf, creating butterfly images in art etc. making everything tie in and hopefully more interesting
I don't think the objects need to be exactly the same, i.e 55 pink pigs but should follow a theme like the fish bucket above or the frogs. I suppose size wise they should be about an inch to two inches, children who have got to this stage should be past putting things in their mouths.
Does this make it a bit clearer?


  1. I like the idea of exchanging items from different continents. We have continent boxes and it would be nice to enrich them with some additional items. We're also severely lacking objects for Africa and Australia!

  2. Meg from Montessori By Hand also suggested a continent swap and a science experiment box. I also thought another miniature objects for sound pouches would be good

  3. That sounds really neat!

    I'm trying to think about counting objects that would work that are from Costa Rica... I originally thought about coffee beans, but they are too small!

    And I tend to go for the natural approach (maybe rounds slices from coffee branches, shells, dry seeds) but they seem small. Would it be more like plastic representations?

  4. I agree with Jo that children counting the objects will be past the oral phase.
    My personal opinion is that I would be really happy to receive natural objects from other places of the world, even if they are smallish.


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