DIY game for children to learn numbers according to the ABN method

DIY game for children to learn numbers according to the ABN method

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Since the logical-mathematical contents have been joined to the crafts, never before have there been such cool and fun mathematical activities. It is what we know with the concept of 'mathematics by the ABN method (Open Based on Numbers)' created by Jaime Martínez Montero, and which is expanding like foam due to its effectiveness, simplicity and fun for children.

Therefore, in we have prepared a DIY game (do it yourself, that is, you can do yourself or yourself) so that children learn the numbers in a more practical and fun way. This activity is aimed at boys and girls from 2 to 4 years old, although it can be modified to adapt it to older students. Also, we will know a little more in depth about this new method that has revolutionized mathematics in Early Childhood and Primary Education.


  • Green card
  • Wooden clothes pegs
  • Fine tip permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Laminator (optional)
  • Plasticizing plastics (optional)
  • Red circular gums (optional)

By following these simple six steps we can carry out our activity:

1. With a pencil we make the shape of a tree on the cardboard and cut it out. In this way, we will get a great template that we will use next.

2. Once we have the template of our apple tree, we put it on the cardboard and we draw its silhouette with the pencil to create more apple trees of the same size and identical to the first (I recommend having 5 apple trees in total).

3. We take an apple tree and we stick a red rubber band on one side and on the other six red stickers, on the next apple tree on one side we stick two stickers and on the other seven stickers and so on. In this way we will save cardboard and take advantage of both sides. The stickers can be replaced by red circles painted with wax or marker or draw apples.

4. We laminate With the help of the laminator each apple tree and we cut them. Although this step is optional, I always recommend laminating everything we can, so it will keep better and last much longer.

5. We take the clothespins, and in the object holding part we write the corresponding number with the help of a fine-tipped permanent marker. As with cardboard, we can write a number (# 1) on one side of a clamp and the other (# 6) on the other side.

6. And, finally, we take the tweezers by the pressing part with the fingers and we will have the trunks of our apple trees. Counting apples!

As we have already mentioned, this activity is related to the ABN method. But do you know what it is? It is a method that is used in some classrooms for children to learn mathematics. This method promotes and is based on mental math, by accumulating everyday objects such as buttons, clothespins, toothpicks, etc. which are the essential components to make it different and attractive for children, since with these objects they are experimenting, they play with them and without realizing they build mathematical learning.

It proposes an open structure based on the formation of tens, hundreds and units, but with total freedom on the part of the boy and the girl. In this way they can obtain the same result in different ways.

It is a method that it can start to be used from 2-3 years and ends in the last year of the primary stage with contents of approach to secondary.

Among its main features are:

- Mathematical problems are solved with manipulable materials and in everyday situations for them.

- Children begin by learning a method where they are helped to think in numbers and not in figures.

And what are the benefits of the ABN method? We will detail them below.

- Advance preparation for children of the infant cycle. This allows them to reach the primary cycle knowing how to add and subtract with numbers up to 100.

- It is a method that adapts to children, and not vice versa.

- Promotes the creativity of boys and girls and allows anticipating more advanced and later learning.

- Promotes self-confidence, since the contents are shelled so that the difficulties that the child is encountering can be solved without problem.

- Mathematics can become a game and a challenge. It allows the child not to have a vision of mathematics as something structured and boring. Rather, it allows play with the numbers and have fun with them.

This activity in particular, in addition to providing us with everything mentioned above, also works on mathematical aspects such as the counting of apples and its relationship with numerical spelling.

In addition, doing activities with pressure objects such as the clothespin in this case, favors the development of fine motor skills, the correct hand position when holding a pencil and increases the strength of this.

To adapt it to boys and girls over 4 years old, we can increase the number of apples, that is, make apple trees in which the count reaches up to the second ten (from 11 to 20) and so on.

This simple activity gives us the moment to take advantage of and practice the ABN method at home, it will surprise you!

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