DIY Montessori Bead Bars
Updated: Jan 8, 2022
When I was first introduced to the Montessori method years ago, I was captivated by the beauty, and elegant simplicity of the materials. I was drawn in, curious, and wanted to see first hand how these beautiful materials worked. Indeed, this is a quintessential part fo the Montessori philosophy, that the materials (and environment) be beautiful. That children are called by wonder to explore and develop their innate abilities through the materials is one thing that sets Montessori education appart from conventional systems.
My enthusiasm for Montessori was quickly dampened however, when I learned just how expensive "authentic" Montessori materials could be! Without having the financial resources to invest in thousands of dollars worth of hands on materials and copy masters, I embarked on a journey to create my own, with a determination to share my knowledge and experience with others. I dream of helping to make the Montessori method and materials more accessible to homeschoolers, guides, pre-school teachers, as well as public school teachers wanting to incorporate it into their classrooms. Montessori does not have to be expensive!
MAKE YOUR OWN
My favorite Montessori material just happens to be the colored bead bars. They are so versitile, and used throughout the Montessori math curriculum. They also happen to be quite pricey if purchased new. The irony is that Dr. Montessori originally used beads to make her math materials because they were cheap and plentiful in her region of Italy at the time. One of my Montessori trainers told me that there was a glass bead factory in the neighborhood of her first Casa dei Bambini. In this same spirit, I have come up with a way to also create a quick, sturdy, yet economical set of beads that doesn't require a crafty bone in your body! In fact, you can make an entire set while watching your favorite show! Here is a short tutorial video showing the process!
My students absolutely love using the bead bars to help them master their multiplicaiton tables. I have created five little printable booklets that I use in my classroom along with the beads. CLICK HERE to get the booklets.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.