The Montessori Red Rods (for those who may not be familiar) are a set of 10 wooden rods that graduate in length from 10 cm to 100 cm or 1 meter.
Montessori Materials are also a wonderful introduction to the metric system.
We use the Montessori Research and Development Early Childhood Sensorial Manual, however there are many free resources available online to those looking for lessons.
We also used our rods for counting.
This is a material that we opted to make. You can see below our natural pine cut versions for the Red Rods, and also a set prepared for the Numbered Rods. Our Rods measure 2.5 cm (approx 1" sq) square by the graduated lengths denoted on the cut list.
The rods were quite simple to make but you need to take care with dimensions. We started with a board of rough cut pine and used a table saw to cut the rods, and then cut them to length. Mine are cut from 1" lumber that we had left over from a house project.
We sanded the rods extremely well to ensure against slivers on tiny hands.
I used red spray paint for our set, but you can use what ever you like. You could also leave them natural. I sprayed both sets red in preparation for the Numbered Rods.
Both of our children were fascinated with these. I think that they found the size of them so interesting. They often pull them out for extension design work.
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