The abacus has long been a playroom icon. There are so many activities you can do with an abacus, even before your child is ready for adding and multiplication. Here are a few abacus activities to get you started.
The brightly coloured beads are so attractive to young toddlers, and they can get real enjoyment from just pushing them from side to side. I worked in some colour learning by asking F to point at the blue beads, the red beads, etc.
You can form letters on the abacus! Although some are tricky, most are possible. Here are some examples:
Like the letters, you can make shapes with the abacus.
And of course, an abacus is perfect for learning numbers. As F moves each bead from one side to another, I count with him.
To further illustrate numbers 1-10, you can incorporate the abacus into some counting songs, moving the beads as appropriate with the song. Here are some counting song ideas:
- Five Little Ducks
- 10 Little Indians
- Five Little Speckled Frogs
- One Man Went to Mow
- 10 Green Bottles
- Five Little Monkeys
Why not make your own abacus? Growing Play has a great post on how to make a giant abacus from string, cardboard tubes, cookie cutters and more!