How to DIY Montessori Number Rods

As a homeschooler, I’m finding ways to do Montessori at home with limited budget, and so I do a lot of DIYs. One of our projects is to DIY the number rods!

Below you’ll find two ways how I did this.

1. DIY Number Rods (Blocks with Paint & Tape)

This DIY number rods make use of Jenga blocks, paint, and tape. But let me just say that I had a different initial plan (which you might be interested in doing yourself!) i.e., using dowel pins (6×40mm) & wood glue to connect the blocks instead of tape. You’ll also need a 1/4 size drill bit and clamp.

I decided to go on the ‘tape’ route because honestly, I can only do simple crafts and DIYs. So buckle up if that’s you too.

Materials

  • Natural Color Jenga Blocks (55 pieces); You’ll have to find an extra piece because there’s only 54 wooden blocks in one set of Jenga.
    • Note: If you buy the cheap ones, there might be blocks that have chips or are not cut evenly
    • I actually used the colored ones we already had at home but they weren’t all smooth and even as I noted above.
  • Blue & Red Acrylic Paints
  • Wood Glue (which I think would be better than the Tacky glue you’d see in the pic below)
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors
  • Clear Packaging Tape

DIY Procedure:

  1. Gather all the materials.
  2. Paint 30 blocks red and 25 blocks blue.
diy montessori number rods

Note: Each rod increases in length by one Jenga piece length (7.5 cm long).

3. For rods of 2 or more, JOIN the ends of the rods together with wood glue and then use a clear tape to hold them together on the side.

4. Then cover each whole rod with the clear packaging tape. Make sure to do it slowly and remove the bubbles under the tape. (As you can probably notice in the first picture above, I could’ve done a better job at this step 😅)

5. Do this for all the rods and there you have it!

diy montessori number rods mindsprout

2. DIY Number Rods (Printable)

If you’re looking for a time-saving DIY option AND if you want to use smaller manipulatives for extension activities, then this ⬇️ might be best for you!

Materials

  • Laminating sheets (Preferably 7-10 mil)
  • Laminating machine
  • Cutter/scissors
  • Printable number rods
    • Note: other extension activities are also included as shown in the pictures below

DIY Procedure:

  1. Print the file above on cardstock (at least 250 gsm) or on regular paper then laminate if preferred.
  2. Cut the number rods (I prefer the 3D).
  3. Laminate, if preferred, in recommended heat.
    • Place them between the laminating sheets and feed through the machine.
    • Read our tips for laminating here.
    • Cut again with sealed edges and ta-dah!
number rods red rods montessori diy
Extension activity with laminated DIY red rods and number rods.

Find instructions on how to present the number rods plus different extension activities here.

If you followed this DIY, please let us know and tag us on IG @MindSproutPH. Happy crafting!

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