I was lucky enough to be advised by older and wiser homeschooling parents than me that after my children could count proficiently to 100, I should teach them to count by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s and so forth. It worked so very well for my first child, and so with my youngest now going through kindergarten, we are again visiting skip counting. Waldorf does a wonderful job with teaching skip counting, and I’ve taken many an idea from them. One of the ideas is a skip counting number wheel. I don’t know the name is the correct terminology, but that is what I’ve most often heard it called. I went looking for a hand-made one on Etsy and was not able to find one in stock, so I decided to make my own. Here is how I did it, in hopes that it may be useful to someone else.
- Purchase a wooden circle plague and 12 pegs. I purchased 8 inch circle plague and 12-1 ¾ inch wooden pegs. These can be obtained at your local craft store. You can use a 6 inch circle and smaller pegs would work fine
- Draw a circle a little smaller than your plague on a piece of paper using a compass. Divide this circle into 5 points. I used a little Waldorf geometry for this by using the directions for drawing a pentagon. Making Math Meaningful and Drawing Geometry both have instructions on how to do this. Then bisect each of the 5 points to get the other points. You can also estimate the 10 points, but I wanted mine to be as precise as I could get them.
- Cut your circle out and place it on the wooden circle. Move the circle until just right, and then holding one end down, lift the other and place a piece of double-sided tape or a rolled piece of tape to hold the paper circle in place.
- Draw dots that correspond to the 10 points on your circle.
- Remove the paper circle.
- I went ahead and drew the skip counting 3 pattern to determine where I wanted my numerals. They can also go on the outside of the pegs. Draw the numbers 0 through 9.
- Choose a drill bit that is just the diameter of your wooden peg bottoms.
- Drill a hole in each dot, not going all the way down, but just as far as the peg bottom.
- Test the pegs to make sure each fit properly and make the necessary adjustments to the holes.
- Place a bit of glue in each whole and press the pegs into the wholes.
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