Number Jars

Posted In: All posts, Math

Creating number jars is a counting activity I read about in the book, Workjobs written by Mary Baratta-Lorten. I used some bottles I had purchased to use in the kitchen, but never got around to organizing. I started by labeling the bottles with white vinyl numbers. To create a little intrigue and support I rolled number cards up and placed them in jars. I used the same number cards (see below) that I created for the Counting Shells learning experience.

I simply left the jars and a bag of glass pebbles on the kitchen table and before I knew it, my three year old was there exploring the activity. She diligently opened each jar, took out the number card and then proceeded to place the appropriate number of glass pebbles in each jar. For the higher numbers she relied on the number cards by placing the pebbles on the black dots to make sure she had the correct amount before placing them in the jar.

Materials & Resources

Number Cards (printable)
Making a Counting Book



With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.



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  1. I made some of these a while ago using sticky black felt on handkerchiefs (My son couldn’t be relied on to roll the paper up without destroying it in the process). They are a great number resource. Your’s are a lot prettier than mine.

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