How we roll

“Mum, how high can you count?”

“Mum, how high do you think I can count?”

“Mum, what’s the highest number anyone has ever counted to?”

While I’m over here feeling as though time is getting away from me, and the to-do list will never be done,  my Little Mathematician has the serious issues on his mind. Time to scrounge around for some materials and help him start a Number Roll.

If you’ve never heard of a Number Roll before, it’s a Montessori work designed primarily to assist in mastering linear counting. Basically you have the child start at 1 and write each successive number, on and on….FOREVER! Well, not actually forever, but for as long as the work holds interest for them. And for a 6 year old that can be an incredibly loooooong time. Nikolai has decided he would like to see how far he can go between now and Christmas 😉


I made this Number Roll by cutting strips of grid paper and putting them in a box. Really, it’s that simple. The very first strip has the columns marked (units, tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands…We’re nothing if not optimistic) which helps with the secondary aim of this work; reinforcing place value.


So far this activity has generated a huge amount of excitement and interest. I’m going to have to cut more strips tonight in case Nikolai chooses this work again tomorrow.


To store the roll we have blue tacked the start to a toilet roll and wound the paper round. The roll and the blank strips are stored in a small cardboard box (thank you Ikea :-p Got to make use of all that cardboard refuse from the flat pack kitchen somehow!), and placed the box on our Maths Shelf.

You can find more information on Number Rolls here and also over here. This has got to be one of the simplest, yet most enjoyable linear counting activities out there, and can be made quickly and cheaply with materials already on hand.

Do you DIY in your homeschool?

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