Using an egg carton and these large buttons Chook was learning and using 1:1 correspondence, an essential early math concept!
By placing each button into an egg holder children are learning that the spoken number matches each button. This is called one to one correspondence and is a very important math concept as it encourages children to count carefully and stay in synch with the number of objects in the set they are counting.
To set this up as a Montessori activity, provide a tray containing only enough buttons for the egg carton. Sit with your child and do the activity in front of him/her. Starting at the top left, place one button in each egg holder across the top from left to right. Then place one button in each holder across the bottom, again from left to right. As you do this put two buttons into one holder, if your child doesn’t notice the error continue until the buttons are used. There will be one egg holder left empty.
Ask out loud “Hmmm, the egg carton should be full. There should be one button in each egg holder. What has happened to the last button?”
Then go back to the top left and touch each button left to right or for the older child, counting until you come to the egg holder with two buttons.
Say, “Ahh, there is two buttons in this holder. There should only be one.”
Take the button out and place it in the last empty holder.
Return to the top left and check your work. Return all the materials back to the tray and ask your child to have a go.