Sandpaper Numerals

A detailed guide to understanding the Sandpaper Numerals and how they are used within the Early Years curriculum.

How does it work?

Sandpaper Numerals are the child’s multi-sensory, formal introduction to the symbols 0-9. The child uses this material to make the association between the spoken name and the graphic symbol through their tactile, visual, and auditory senses. Guidepost’s set comes with ten numerals (0-9) and an open box for storage.

Prerequisite Skills - Prior to using the Sandpaper Numerals, it is important for the child to experience counting quantities of like objects to 9 and associating those with their quantity names. For example five pencils as “5”, 3 beads as “3”, and so on. Even better is if the child has experience using the Montessori Number Rods, where they can practice counting the number segments of each rod and learning their names and sequence.

Sandpaper Numerals - Initial Presentation

Sample lesson

Start by watching this sample lesson from our Guidepost Homeschool platform that will familiarize you to the Sandpaper Numerals and their use.

If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, scroll down to see all the corresponding lessons where this material is used in our curriculum. To unlock more than 2,000+ lessons subscribe to Guidepost Homeschool today.

Introducing the Sandpaper Numerals

How to set up

Setup - Carefully remove all packaging. Put the numerals in order from 1-9 in the box, with 1 at the front and subsequent numbers in order to 9, and zero behind 9.

If you are using child-size shelves at home, we suggest placing materials in order of how they will be introduced. The Sandpaper Numerals are the starting point in our Numeracy Kit and belong at the start of your sequence of math materials.

Usage Tips - This material is suitable for use either on a work rug on the floor or at a child-height table.

You will use 3-period lessons to help your child associate the names of the numerals with their symbols. Be sure to introduce the names out of sequence when doing so.

Wait to introduce "zero" until after the child has had a lesson with the Spindle Boxes because that is when the concept of zero is covered.

For Guidepost Homeschool subscribers

If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, start in the order below to navigate to the corresponding lesson plans using the Sandpaper Numerals in our Altitude learning platform.

Wondering about supplies used in particular lessons? Detailed materials lists can be found at the beginning of each lesson in Guidepost’s Altitude system, as well as on the materials cards at the beginning of each unit.

  • Corresponding Altitude lessons

    Lessons where the Sandpaper Numerals are used

    Math: (3-4) Numbers 0-10

    • Introducing Sandpaper Numerals
    • Follow Up: Writing Numerals in a Sand Tray
    • Follow Up: Writing Numerals on a Chalkboard
    • Follow Up: Writing Numerals on Paper
    • Follow Up: Painting Numerals with Water

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