On Homeschool & Unschooling

How to teach the concept of numbers to a toddler – mathematics using art

We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.
Maria Montessori

Ever since Bubs memorised counting from one to ten, the next milestone naturally would be to make sense of it all – understanding quantity and numerical symbols associated with it.

As excited as I am, I knew pushing Bubs beyond his readiness is not what I want. We placed out a counting activity tray with marble counters as one of his ‘work’ activity. Slowly but surely, he is getting the hang of numbers & quantity but not quite there yet.

Recently, I randomly grabbed Herve Tullet’s ’10 Times 10′ from our neighbourhood library. I had absolutely no idea how this book makes sense, nor whether it is going to be enjoyable as the book is rather thick for a 2 year old to enjoy.

Boy was I proven w.r.o.n.g!!!

Bubs was instantly mesmerised by the book’s cover and we had so much fun reading it from page to page. His eyes will widen at the chapter of counting fingers, where after the 5th finger, the 6th one appeared and continued until 10. He lifted up his hand and stared at his own wondering how on earth did extra fingers pop out.

There was so much giggling and squeals at counting body parts ‘cos in the end, having 4 eyes, 5 mouths and 7 arms does make one crazy funny monster.

Perhaps it’s just a boy thing.

After 2 days of obsessing over the book, we did our own art work on counting body parts.



The materials were prepared beforehand – drawing & cutting out pieces of eyes, noses, mouths, legs, arms & using twine for hair. It was absolute delight for Bubs and his first time using glue. He chose which pieces he wanted to stick on the head and where to paste them on.




It was lovely to see him focused on his work and creating his own silly monster head. He requested for the same activity the next day and luckily, we got this face sticker art book from Muji a few months ago. I kept it because he wasn’t showing any interest in it yet.


So there we are, creating more crazy head faces! It was fun for both of us exploring mathematics using arts.

Here’s other activities we did to explore the concept of mathematics in everyday life:

Grocery shopping (or purchasing items in general)

Taking the lift

Baking muffins

I’ll put up new posts with pictures of these activities soon.

Have a wonderful blessed day!

Jingyi Gabrielle

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