Montessori bead bars

This math lesson is designed for 3-6-year-old children. Montessori bead bars are introduced to the child to teach them the counting concept and color recognition.

Counting with ten bar beads is a practical method for learning complex mathematical operations, like addition and subtraction efficiently.

What are Montessori Bead Bars?

The Montessori bead bars are made of colored beads arranged on a wire in quantities of one to ten. Each bead bar quantity is represented by a distinct color, which helps a child recognize the quantity associated with the color of the beads. It is used to independently learn fundamental mathematical concepts, such as counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This material is used in both Primary and Lower Elementary levels.

Bead bars represent 1 to 10 numbers. Each bar has a unique, distinct color.

  • 1 bead on a bar- red
  • 2 beads – green
  • 3 beads – pink
  • 4 beads – yellow
  • 5 beads – light blue
  • 6 beads – mauve (violet)
  • 7 beads – white
  • 8 beads – brown
  • 9 beads – dark blue
  • 10 beads – mustard (dark yellow)

You can also download the printable form of bead bars from here.

Benefits of Montessori Bead Bars

  • It helps to introduce many complex math concepts.
  • It helps to boost concentration and enhances memory.
  • It develops self-esteem and enhances a child’s confidence.

Materials Required for Bead Bars Activity

  • Set of colored bead bars, threaded on a wire, ranging from 1 to 10 beads
  • Small sheet/mat
  • Container: box/small basket to keep all the quantities.

How to Introduce Counting using the Montessori Bead Bars to the Child?

  1. Invite the child to the table and tell them today they will learn to count from 1 to 10.
  2. Starting with one bead bar, show the child the color of the bead, i.e. red.
  3. Similarly, introduce all the bead bars to the child and ask them to count the number of beads in each bar.
  4. In the end, ask the child to practice and guess the color that each bar represents.

More Tips Around Counting Concept

As the child performs this exercise, children learn colors associated with numbers.

  • You can introduce the concept using the Three Period Lesson if the child has difficulty remembering the corresponding numbers of the bead bars.
  • You can also use the bead bar document to introduce the color associated with each quantity or practice coloring each bead bar.
  • You can also show the child any single bar and ask her to count the beads in it, then ask them to name the color of the bead bar. Pointing the finger from one bead to the next on each new bar, add the beads together. Do this for both bars to find the total number of beads on both bars.
  • You can also use sandpaper number cards from 1 to 10 for practice in counting and associating the correct bead bar with the numerals.

Let the child repeat this exercise with the video and count using ten bar beads.

Related Video Resources:

For more math video lessons, click here.

Video created by: Mende Lama


  • counting
  • English
  • Math
  • primary level