The Spindle Boxes in Montessori

The Montessori Spindle Boxes

Every material designed by Dr. Montessori had the child’s work with their hands in mind. Dr. Montessori believed that the child who has the chance to use her hands in learning has the chance to attain a superior level of character and intelligence.

For this reason, the materials were designed to fit in a small child’s hands, allowing them to more completely experience the presented concept. The materials actively engage the child’s senses, including tactile, visual, muscular, kinesthetic, and baric (weight). In Montessori math, The Spindle Boxes are no exception.

the Montessori Spindle Boxes

The importance of Spindle Box

The wooden spindles are introduced after the child has a solid understanding of the quantities 1-10 and recognizes the corresponding numeric symbols. This activity is introduced prior to the Zero Game and is the child’s introduction to the concept of zero.

young girl working with the Montessori Spindle Boxes
Madeline (3) working with the Spindle Boxes.

How you present Montessori Spindle Boxes

The initial step in presenting this Montessori activity is ensuring the child is familiar with the written numerals. This is done by asking the child to name the numbers, in numerical order and at random.

The rest of the presentation is very straight forward and simply involves matching the quantity of spindles to the corresponding number slot.

Along with the spindles, you should include ribbons, elastics, or pipe cleaners to bind the spindles. You can pick the binding materials based on your child’s abilities.

For activities that can help your child’s fine motor skills, check out my Pincer Grasp article and Melissa’s Fine Motor Skills article! Both are fun and informative!

Why bind the spindles?

Binding the quantities is an important step because it reinforces that the quantity that has been counted is a set. When the activity is complete and all the quantities are bound, you may ask the child to make some observations about each bunch.

The child might pick up the bundle of eight and comment that it is heavier than the bundle of two. Or they might comment on how much space the different quantities take up in their hands.

This is a fun activity and, after the initial presentation by the parent or teacher, can be done on the child’s own, as their is a built in control of error; the total number of wooden spindles included in the set.

Young girl working with the Montessori Spindle Boxes
Madeline (3), enjoying counting the Wooden Spindles.

The Spindle Boxes prepare for the decimal system

Another benefit to this activity, is it gets the child ready for future work with the decimal system, as 9 is the limit of the units category. (You will notice 9 being the greatest number in several other Montessori activities.)

I will be writing in greater detail about how early Montessori math activities prepare the child for the decimal system in the near future. So, sign up for updates and follow us on Facebook!

My child enjoys this activity so much! I hope yours will, as well!

Cheers and don’t forget to subscribe!

Sharing is caring!

6 thoughts on “The Spindle Boxes in Montessori”

  1. Pingback: Can Montessori Prepare a Child for Common Core Math? – Reach for Montessori

  2. Pingback: The Zero Game — Parenting with Purpose

  3. Pingback: What is Control of Error in Montessori? — The Montessori-Minded Mom

  4. Pingback: How Montessori Teaches Math — The Montessori-Minded Mom

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top