I was looking at some of my granddaughter’s favorite Spielgaben materials the other day … the wooden sticks and dots. And I couldn’t help but think of digital numbers and wonder if the sticks could be used to build numbers. I couldn’t find exactly what I was envisioning for digital clock numbers to use with the sticks, so I got to work creating a digital numbers printable.
Using that and two other printables for a variety of ages from toddlers through early elementary, I prepared 3 different trays to use to give an introduction to digital numbers and telling time. Two of the activities will work for older toddlers who don’t mouth objects and preschoolers, while one is for older preschoolers through early elementary.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spielgaben. All opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
In case you’re not familiar with Spielgaben toys, they are exceptionally high-quality educational toys designed for ages 3-12. You can see from the photo that the cabinet is very high quality and fits in well in a room with traditional Montessori materials. I love the new, easily removable drawers in version 4. The yarn balls from the 1st Spielgaben set can be used with babies and toddlers, too.
The Spielgaben complete set comes with over 700 pages of full-color printed learning materials. These printed materials help you as a parent or teacher easily use Spielgaben toys educationally with your child and/or students.
Spielgaben Materials Used in This Post
I used the Spielgaben wooden sticks (set 8), which you can purchase separately if you have the latest version. I love the wooden sticks, so it’s nice to have both versions of sticks. Spielgaben vertex balls and rods from Version 4 would also work.
I also used the Spielgaben points (wooden dots) to create Montessori-inspired activities. If you’re using Spielgaben toys in the traditional sequence used in Froebel education, these points are the 9th set or “gift” and have activities that can be used for advanced mathematical/geometric concepts. The points can also be used to create objects and designs.
The points are small, which makes them useful for practical life activities that develop fine-motor skills. And their small size makes them appealing to children in the sensitive period for small objects and details. This sensitive period is actually from ages 1½-4, although Spielgaben toys are only recommended for ages 3 and up because of safety considerations with babies and toddlers who put objects in their mouths. Most preschoolers are still drawn to small objects, so they will typically find the wooden dots very inviting.
I’ll link to free printables which will help make the activities simple to prepare yet attractive. I’ll also tell you where I found the materials for my activities.
Note: The yarn balls in set 1 are fine for babies and toddlers. The other sets should only be used with ages 3 and older unless your toddler no longer mouths objects or you are constantly supervising your toddler during an activity using the materials.
Matching Digital Clock Numbers to Sandpaper Numerals + Fine-Motor Activity with Wooden Sticks
This is an activity that’s espeically good for preschoolers and kindergarteners. This activity uses my free digital clock numbers printable. Younger children can match the digital number to a sandpaper numeral. (I used a Multicraft tray and large bamboo condiment cup for the wooden sticks.)
Younger children can simply match the numbers and then build the digital number with the Spielgaben wooden sticks. The printable includes digital numbers for 0-12, although you could use 1-9 or 0-9 with the sandpaper numerals. Building with the wooden sticks is a great activity for developing the pincer grip for writing, too. Older children could build the number off the card.
Building Digital Clock Numbers with Wooden Sticks
For this activity, I printed out the Digital Number Puzzle from Mr Printables. It’s a great printable with a fun idea for making a DIY puzzle. I set the printer page sizing to custom size scale 75% so it would be the right size for the smallest wooden sticks. The child could build digital numbers without any model and with only the empty outline as a guide, my (free printable) digital numbers cards could be used as a model, or the numbers shown on the right side of the tray could be used as a check once the child has built a number.
Matching Digital and Analog Time Cards + Building Time Symbols with Wooden Sticks and Dots
This activity uses the Tell the Time Worksheet by Chelsey West Andrews at Teachers Pay Teachers. I drew the hands on the clock faces to match the time cards, although you could have advanced students draw on the hands themselves. I used a Montessori Services basket and three small bamboo condiment cups. (I love these bamboo holders because they’re natural, lovely for baskets and wooden trays, and the perfect size for objects that are simply too small for many containers. I think they’re worth paying a little more for than some containers because of their beauty and usefulness.) These are perfect for holding the smallest Spielgaben wooden sticks along with wooden dots for the clock symbols.
For this activity, the child could match the analog clock face to the digital time symbol and then build the digital time symbol with wooden sticks and dots. You could have only the o’clock cards available or even just the time symbols for reading time and building the symbols.
I really do love the Spielgaben wooden sticks and dots! They’re fun for adults as well as kids!
Note: Here’s the link to my favorite laminator … inexpensive and great for almost any activity that needs to be laminated!
All My Spielgaben Posts
Many of these include links to free printables! (Click on an image to go to the related blog post. The gallery is ordered according to publication date with my latest post at the top.)
Version 4 of Spielgaben Educational Toys
I highly recommend Spielgaben as an amazing educational material for home or school. Even though the toys aren’t inexpensive, they’re definitely worth the price because of the high quality of materials and number of years your children or students can use them.
Special deal for my readers!
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
If this is your first time visiting Living Montessori Now, welcome! If you haven’t already, please join us on our Living Montessori Now Facebook page where you’ll find a Free Printable of the Day and lots of inspiration and ideas for parenting and teaching! And please follow me on Pinterest (lots of Montessori-, holiday-, and theme-related boards), Instagram, and YouTube. You can find me on bloglovin’ and Twitter, too.
And don’t forget one of the best ways to follow me by signing up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll receive some awesome freebies in the process!