The Guidecraft wooden ring counting toy is a great, simple math manipulative. My father bought this toy for my daughter for her very first Christmas, thus we have had our Guidecraft ring counter for five years! For this first Christmas (and everyone since!), I sent a friendly email reminder to all our family members that we did not want plastic, battery-operated toys. Some family members listened, some did not. While searching the internet for natural toys, my sister found the Guidecraft ring counter and told my mathematician dad about it. Just like the abacus of a previous post, the ring counter toy allows children to explore mathematical concepts and make discoveries. I still remember when my daughter spontaneously made her first ABABAB pattern with the yellow and blue rings. The Guidecraft ring counter has been essential for teaching my 2.5 year old son his colors. Placing each colored ring on the appropriate post also builds motor skills and reinforces sorting skills, as well. The different quantities can be compared for greater than and less than comparisons too. The possiblities are endless with this simple, natural toy.
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