The child matches the counters to the number symbols 0 to 9.

The Cards & Counters

The Cards & Counters

Roberta Frosolini


The child enjoys opportunities to practise counting and matching amounts with numerals.


Discover the concept of odd and even numbers




  • A set of number cards 1 to 10
  • A box containing 55 counters


Number names: 1 to 10; odd and even

Control of Error

There are precisely the correct number of counters. If the child has miscounted the counters there will be either not enough or some left over.


This exercise is carried out individually either on a table or on the mat. Children seem to prefer working with this material on a large mat on the floor (probably because we use large sandpaper number cards to carry out this work).

Shuffle the numbers on the mat and give the child the box with the counters. Invite the child to find the number symbol 1. When he has done so ask him to put it on the top left hand side of the mat. You may ask: “How many counters do you need?” Once the child has given you his answer ask him to find the number of counters in the box. You can help him place the counter below the numeral.

For number 2, help your child to put the counters next to each other. Continue this way with number 3, placing the two first counters next to each other and the third below, to the left hand side. Continue this way until the child has found all the numbers and used all the counters.


Let the small child practice by matching counters to numerals, placing the correct number of counters in a line below each card.

Although the original presentation uses the numerals 1 to 10, the child can use the 0 card as he has already worked with the spindle box (which introduce children to 0).

In some presentations, you may find that the pattern of the counters is described differently, for example: the odd counter is positioned in the middle rather than on the left hand side.

Other presentations are described with the numerals being put in a line, rather than mixed up, before starting with counting the counters.