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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Using a Simple 100 Bead Abacus to Teach Maths to Kids

Recently my boy learned to count on his own. He had taken two toys and wanted to take two more and he said to me "two and two makes four". I tested him by asking him what will happen if he takes three more toys and he said "two and three makes five". I was so excited and quickly bought him a math activity book to teach him further because he was ready for it. I thought him to count using his 10 fingers.

Later on, when we were relating this incident to his father, my boy suddenly asked his dad, "Daddy, how to count five plus six?" (because he only had 10 fingers and that was all I taught him). Daddy laughed and went out and bought him a 100 Bead Abacus the next day. (Another excuse for Daddy and Mummy to buy a "toy".)

I've never learned counting using an Abacus before. Certainly not those Chinese or Japanese Abacus and not even a simple basic 100 Bead Abacus. So as usual, I searched around the web and was delighted to find this site RightStart Mathematics. As usual, I'd like to share it with you. Its mission is to help children understand, apply and enjoy mathematics.

Using the Abacus helps the children in math by visualisation instead of mere rote learning. It has a simple explanation of how to use the Abacus to teach math. It even has an interactive Abacus to try out. Here is another interactive Abacus from another site to test out. If you're not sure whether your child will like the Abacus, you can let them try out the interactive one first.

I also like the children's counting songs to help children memorize counting from 6 to 10, about the months of the year and about number writing. Great site for teaching kids math. My kids love the abacus. It has rekindled their interest in math.


  1. agree with u, abacus is a great tool for maths learning. I learned the chinese abacus from my step brother and it's really interesting how they actually work faster than a calculator hehe..i used to be very amazed with the chinese med hall boss, using the abacus to count and the sounds of it :)

  2. jazzmint,
    Yes its fascinating to watch and here those chinese med hall boss use those chinese abacus. Hehe. Hope to learn it someday.

  3. When my children were between the age of 3-5, my husband taught them Chisenbop (finger math), then the abacus. It really helped them to mentally 'visualize' numbers in different operations. I Sm thinking of teaching my grandchildren.

  4. yeah. it`a really true ..

  5. Hi,
    This one is great and is really a good post. I think it will help me a lot in the related stuff and is very much useful for me. Very well written I appreciate & must say good job.

    kids abacus


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