DIY Red Rods, Montessori Sensorial At Home


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. 
Primarily the rods are used to explore length, promote order, sequence, concentration, and motor skills development, in addition to introducing new vocabulary. 
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.


After our children were able to assemble the rods we worked with extensions. There are amazing extensions available for the Red Rods, and many other sensorial materials in the Montessori Research and Development Manual -  Sensorial Material Variations and Extensions. This manual does include extension diagrams. I purchased additional extension designs for all of our sensorial materials from here.


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.




CONVERSATION

21 comments:

  1. Wow. These materials are beautiful. I've been toying with the idea of making my own materials- red rods and number rods specifically. What are the dimensions for the red rods? I haven't searched for them yet, maybe they are easy to find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!!!
      Check here...
      http://www.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/510300110/5103/Montessori-Outlet-Long-Red-Rods

      They are graduated from 10cm up to 1 meter. Send me a link if you make them I'd love to see!!! Good luck!!

      Delete
  2. Another AMAZING DIY material ... you could set up your own shop, Cherine! I featured your post and photo in my DIY Number Rods and Alternatives at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/09/10/montessori-monday-diy-number-rods-and-alternatives/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deb!! These took some time but were fun to make and so worth it! I really appreciate your kindness and sharing our work:))

      Delete
  3. Could you share the exact measurements for these. I am putting these on my hubby's to do list.
    I love your site by the way, thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Check here...
    http://www.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/510300110/5103/Montessori-Outlet-Long-Red-Rods

    We made them 1"sq and they are graduated from 10cm up to 1 meter. Send me a link if you make them!!!

    I'm happy to hear you are enjoying the site!!! Thank you:))

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to make the red and blue rods. Is there a place to print design pages i see your child using? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we bought ours from Montessori Print Shop. They have a fantastic selection of design pages!!

      Delete
  6. Which lumber dimensions did you use? The one available at 1 inch is really 3/4 inches?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We used wood that we previously had milled for us from a past home repair. The most important thing to me was they were square and the correct length. Also that my red rods and numbered rods were the same size to work together for extensions. You can also rip down 2 X lumber to make the rods. It's a great way to use up left over lumber from other projects. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  7. I had someone cut the lumber for me. They came unpainted, so i started the painting process today. I hope they come put right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure they will!!! That is so fantastic :)

      Delete
  8. What is the difference between the red and blue numerical rods and the red rods? The guy I got wood from are working on the brown stairs and pink tower. I can't till they finish them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The red rods are introduced first with your Sensorial materials. They are placed according to size. The rods can also be used for early counting and indirectly introducing your child to the base ten system of counting, but mainly gives your child practice in ordering by dimension. They also experience the difference in weight as the rods get progressively larger/smaller. You can also introduce some new descriptive vocabulary like smallest, smaller etc. The Numbered rods are sectioned from 1-10 for a deeper introduction to counting in that not only are the rods ordered from 1-10, but also sectioned from one to ten. You can do some basic addition search for 10 activities with the rods. Your child will be using number symbols to identify the rods (number cards 1-10). There are design extensions to use with both sets of rods, thus it is great to make them together so they are the same size (if you wish). Hope that helps!

      Delete
  9. Ok now I am confused as to whether to make thm red rods or the red and blue. The oe little boy who will be 5 in Oct already attends a Montessori program. My other children are 3. Some attend typical preschools and some do not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no!! I'm sorry. If you can do both it would be amazing because you can do the design extensions with both, and also the younger will have the full benefit with the red rods and then move onto the numbered rods. If you can only do one (personally) I would do the numbered rods and print the number cards for them :)

      Delete
    2. You can withhold labeling the rods with the number cards until they are ready.

      Delete
  10. Thanks for this! A couple of blogs seem to suggest that it's 2.5 x 2.5cm for the cross section. Some say an inch which is *approximately* the same (but not exactly). As Montessori seems to always use metric, I'm assuming it's actually more accurate to use the cms if possible. Is that right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abena,

      Maria Montessori was from Italy, and used the metric system as do we in Canada. The US officially does not, so I am assuming the posts you are seeing are from the US. I think that if you plan to use Montessori as a curriculum and wish to create continuity for your materials especially for later elementary use that using metric for your materials will be helpful. If this is purely for short term sensorial use then the choice is yours. Most decide on what makes sense, and works for them. I am so happy to hear you found it helpful! Thanks for writing :)

      Delete
    2. Fab. I'm taking from your answer that 2.5cm is the ideal. If I'm wrong, please let me know. Thank you for your response - helpful!

      Delete
    3. Yes <3 Good luck with making them!! We'd love to know how they work out for you!!

      Delete

I greatly appreciate your friendly comments and feedback. I love to see what others are making, so please feel free to include a links and share your site with us!!! If you have any questions regarding any of the materials we have made...I'd love to help!!! Thank you for visiting us:)

instagram

Instagram

Follow Us