What is the Montessori Stamp Game?
As with other Montessori materials, children are encouraged to work with physical materials that help them understand and internalize these ideas, rather than memorize abstract mathematical concepts. To teach children a variety of mathematical operations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, we use the Montessori Stamp Game.
It consists of square tiles that represent numerical symbols and quantities. This hands-on material allows children to manipulate numbers and engage in concrete mathematical activities.
STAGE 1: Linking Golden Beads with the Stamps
- Invite the child and bring the golden beads to the work space.
- Show the stamp game box and place it on the mat.
- Review the golden beads.
- Bring out one stamp from each category and place it below the corresponding beads, naming each one as you’re placing it.
- Say, “These are what we call stamps and they represent different quantities. Let’s look at the number on each one.” Invite the child read the number and count the number of zeroes. Then say, “This little square represents a thousand!”
- Return the golden beads and the stamps in their appropriate containers.
STAGE 2: Making Numbers Without Writing
- Show the child how to place the stamps vertically. Invite the child to build numbers in one category only, until the child has repeatedly been successful.
- Show the child how to build a number in two categories and how to read it. Invite the child to build more numbers from two or more categories, until the child is comfortable with how to do so.
- Ask the child to make a number using the stamps on his own and read it.
- Ask the child to make a number with a missing category and read it. Say, “When we are missing a category, we are going to leave a space where the category would have been.”
STAGE 3: Making and Writing Numbers
- Invite the child to write a number with the stamps.
- Show him the stamp game paper and where to write the four categories.
- Ask the child how many thousands (then proceed to write it), repeating with the remaining categories in order.
- Repeat writing a new number with the missing category. Say, “When we are missing a category, we leave space with the stamps, but on paper, we will write zero.”
- Repeat until the child understands the concept.
STAGE 4: Making and Writing Numbers in a Column
- Ask the child to build a four-digit number using the stamps (as in stage 3).
- Then ask the child to build a three-digit number. You can put a ruler separating the first number and this second one.
- Bring the child to notice that the categories need to be aligned with one another.
- Say, “Let’s write the first number on our paper.” Invite the child to write the four-digit number.
- Invite the child to read the second number. “Let’s write it on our paper as well. We don’t have any thousands, so where shall we start our number on this paper?”
- Lead the child to understand that the hundreds column and the rest should be aligned in the similar way on both the stamps and on paper.
- Repeat with numbers that have a zero in the middle. Invite the child to repeat with other numbers.
DIY Stamp Game Materials
While the authentic Montessori Stamp Game materials are exceptional, printable versions offer a cost-effective and accessible way to bring the Montessori method into your home or classroom.
Check out our DIY printable version of the stamp game materials — just cut and laminate!