Cuisenaire Rods and Preschool Math Activities

Cuisenairre Rods

I bought the container from hobby Lobby

Intending to use Miquon Math with Little Big Man, I purchased a set of Cuisenaire Rods. In addition to using them for his math work, I have found the rods useful for so many activities with my preschooler.


I’ll give Flower Child a handful of different color rods and ask her to sort them.  To make it interesting, I’ll also throw in a hand full of Montessori beads. With the addition of the beads, she can sort by color, length or shape.  When she’s finished, I ask her why she chose to sort that way and ask if there is another way she could sort the items.  We also use coins for sorting activities as there is more than one way to sort them as well.

Math Activities

Building Stairs

I don’t know if little kids just have perpetually sticky hands or what, but Flower Child always has difficulty with this.  It takes great concentration to get everything lined up without it moving when she pulls her finger away.  This is a wonderful fine motor skills activity.  I ask her to make the stairs in the shape of a pyramid and also have her line them up so that they look like stairs.  Once she’s mastered this, I’ll extend the activity by asking her to stack the rods as opposed to laying them on the floor.

math activities

Understanding Length and Early Math

I ask Flower Child to tell me how many white rods long each other rod is.  I then ask her to compare the length.  We discuss different questions as they relate to length and comparison.

Math Activities

Flower Child enjoys these kids of activities and, since I call them “math,” she has decided that she likes math, even thought it involves memorizing those dreadful numer symbols.