A few months back a friend posted a picture of skip counting boards handmade by her husband. I had never seen anything like them! I thought they looked so cool & started asking for details.
My friend and her husband based their design off these online tutorials (1 and 2). They made two versions: one with wooden pegs (pictured) and one with nails in place of the pegs. The nail version was much simpler to make and saved them the time of cutting, drilling, and gluing the wooden pegs. The only practical difference between the two is the appearance. If you decide to make one, choose what appeals to you!
Now to explain how it works. Essentially, each peg is assigned a number from 0-9. The top peg (0), has one end of a length of yarn tied to it. Choose a number to skip count with and guide the yarn around the first peg. As you progress to using two digit numbers, you’ll guide the yarn around the peg that the number ends in. For example for skip counting by 2s: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24, you’d circle around the pegs as follows: 2, 4, 6, 8, 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 0, 2, 4. Make sense?
We reviewed skip counting with these boards recently and my boys loved seeing the different patterns show up. It was so fun and so great for them to see the beautiful visual of math! I imagine that seeing math this way will produce connections they might’ve otherwise missed.
I should warn you, that while the boards are great for skip counting practice and fine motor skills practice, it can be overwhelming for some to combine the two at once. When I found that happening for my guys, I would team them up with me or another of my littles to work on it together. With the cubes and squares, I raced my oldest guy to see who could complete the board faster from memory. He beat me every time! 🙂
Since we review skip counting with each Classical Conversations cycle, I suspect these boards will get plenty of use, even more so as my littles get older and more independent with their review.
What do you think? Would you use these in your homeschool?