Sandpaper Numerals 0-9



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The Sandpaper Numerals (sometimes known as the 'Textured Numerals' or 'Tactile Numerals') are a fundamental part of the Montessori Numeracy Curriculum.

These number symbols provide a tactile sensation so that a child can form both a visual and sensory impression of each numeral.

A parent or teacher can utilise the 'Three Period Lesson' format to help the child to relate the name relating to each number symbol (that is, "one" to 1, "two" to 2 and so forth). 

Each time the child uses the fingertips to trace the number shape a 'muscular memory' is developed and reinforced. This will translate to success and confidence during later attempts to write numbers, as the hand and mind are both familiar with the movements required to form each numeral.

A video of the Three Period Lesson for the Sandpaper Numerals is coming soon to our YouTube channel!

A summary of the Sandpaper Numeral presentation can be found here on 'Wikisori'.


When introducing numerals for the first time it is important to proceed in numerical order.

The Numerals should be introduced after the child has a concept of quantity and verbal rote counting. That is, before learning these symbols a child should already be familiar with looking at a fixed amount and verbally counting this quantity. In a classroom setting this would be done with the Number Rods but it can also be achieved with any collection of objects or items. 



The Sandpaper Numerals also provide opportunities for countless numeracy exercises, for example...

  • The Sandpaper Numerals can be placed on the shelf in a random order and the child can work to put them back in the correct pattern.
  • The Sandpaper Numerals can be placed on an Activity Tray or in a Basket with a corresponding quantity of counters. If you present all of the Numerals (0-9) together then 45 counters will be required to provide a 'control of error' (that is, if the child miscounts during the activity there will be too few or too many counters left at the end and this provides an inbuilt hint for the child to independently check and self-correct his or her work). If you start with just a few Numerals, such as 1-3, then just place the corresponding amount (six) with it.
  • A piece of paper can be placed over the top of each letter and the child can be taught to gently rub back and forth with a flat-sided crayon in order to make a 'rubbing' replica of each numeral.
  • A child could go on a 'Number Treasure Hunt' using the Sandpaper Numerals as a point of inspiration. Demonstrate to a child how to pick a numeral, lay it on a Floor Mat (or table) and then search the home or classroom environment for a corresponding quantity of objects. Initially the child might find it easier to collect several different objects for each amount (such as finding one apple, one pencil and one sock to make "3" objects) but the game becomes more challenging when a child is guided to find a particular quantity of the same object (such as a pair of socks for "2", four bananas in a bunch for "4" and so forth).

The Sandpaper Numerals are proudly Australian-made!


Please note: The image for this product shows an example of the format and design but please view the second gallery image to see the exact script/font used for the letters!