Montessori Math - Hanging Bead Stair Frame

Ava LOVES Montessori math!! These are the activities she is gravitating to most these days.
We bought ours - but honestly if you wished, this would be quite easy to make. At the bottom of the post is a simple down loadable plan you can check out to make one if you wish.

This is a great video for presenting the Hanging Bead Stair Frame. The hbsf is one of many materials for learning linear counting 1-9. She started out using the numbered ruler placed in the channel across the top (as seen in the video) and placing the bars. Now Ava is mixing it up. Here she had hung her beads and labelled them with the number tiles. Sometimes she sorts and places the number tiles (placed in the box out of order) first and then places the bead bars.

Below she is using the ruler to check her work.

This is a set of coloured bead stair 3 part cards (below). Ava is using them here for matching the bead bars. These cards are from Montessori for Learning.Here is another source for information about presenting the bead stair.
There are tons of materials around the web for bead stair work that I found helpful. Here are a few...
The Helpful Garden
Expert Village Video 
Montessori for Everyone
Imagine Our Life
Virtual Montessori
Montessori Print Shop
Alison's Montessori
Chasing Bubbles
Pinay Homeschooler
Living Montessori Now

This is a very basic and easily adaptable idea to create your own DIY version of the Hanging Bead Stair. We have made most of our early materials with extra or scrap wood we had on hand, but the supplies required to make this will be very inexpensive to purchase. Check out scrap bins at Home Depot as well. We were careful about sanding our materials really well for safe handling. The measurements for this frame do not need to be 100% it is important to be close and have good proportions for the beads, and cup hook placement is key for ease of use.  If you have a table saw you could run the top rail through the center to create the channel for your cards.

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  1. I am so excited about the links to working with the bead stair and beads :) We have a printable version that we use very similar to one in one of your links, and this is exciting! Thanks for taking the time to give these! :)

    1. That's awesome Amy!! Montessori beads are so pretty and fun to work with:) Do you have a link for yours that you want to share??

  2. Hi Cherine! I need your help. I will be purchasing my first ever Montessori Materials this week and I can't seem to decide which are the "must haves"! I'm totally lost. My list includes decanomial beads, knobless cylinders, red & blue moveable letters and the black moveable letters. I was thinking that with decanomial, we can do a lot of work from here and would be of use to a lot of math activities. For knobless, I admire all the extension work... would really challenge my son and for the letters so we can dig dipper into the digraphs and phonograms (and spelling). BUT I am also thinking of addition/difference equations boxes. Are they worth-it (the boxes)? We'll be doing a lot of addition and subtraction next year so I am torn whether to have them or not without the boards (pricey for me). Thank you so much!

    1. Well I can tell you that the decanomial bead box was a great choice for us because as you say you can make most activities from this box, as opposed to purchasing them separately. I did also purchase a package of 5 beads stairs from Kid advance to have for extras so that I was sure to keep a complete box - and to account for any poss loss of beads bars. Great choice!! The knobless cylinders are wonderful!! You choice of alphabets are great in that later you can paint the vowels (red & blue box) for more advanced work. As for the operations boxes well... we love ours but if I were to do it over again I may have just printed them. You can easily make them (which you are great at) or Montessori Print Shop has great printables of these. We use ours alot! The printables have the same equations as the boxes. The answer chips usually come with the math charts (for tables work later). I bought the boxes because they contained both the equations and answer chips - but again easily made and big money saver!! Hope this made sense and is helpful:) Good luck!!

  3. Love this material, and thanks for all the links!


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:)



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