The Classic Melissa & Doug Wood Abacus is a wonderful wooden counting toy that celebrates the simplicity of the wooden classic while introducing children to the fundamentals of arithmetic, counting, color recognition and pattern recognition.
Recommended for ages three to six, this classic wooden calculator offers exceptional quality and value with 100 brightly colored beads on a timeless counting frame. It is well priced at just under $13 and offers a great mechanism for the early stages of counting.
Grandma bought one of these for both of our youngest son and daughter ages 3.5 and 22 months for Christmas. Even though they both count high and our son writes numbers well into the hundreds (and sometimes thousands without fully appreciating their meanings) the beads in this Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Abacus
helps them understand the physical meaning behind each number.
It’s sometimes difficult to teach and combine both concepts, but counting numbers and understanding its corresponding representation are important ideas for young minds. And this wooden abacus helps teach very valuable fundamental lessons in arithmetic.
As a result, our 22 month old girl is able to not just count up to somewhere in the deep 40’s, but she groups things together and and counts them correctly up to the number they represent. Our son is also capable of doing this, but counting up to 100 on the abacus bores him some, and he prefers to jump back on his doodle and continue writing the numbers.
And while they can’t do it now so well, I look forward to introducing them to the concept of addition and subtraction using the wood abacus. For a while our son has been reciting addition problems but usually gets them right through memory - I believe this abacus will get him to more deeply understand the mechanics of arithmetic - once he sits down and overcomes the boredom of the beads!
Overall this wood abacus is well made and large enough for both of our little ones. The frame, bars and beads are sturdy and so far have been very safe. It comes with some ideas on how to use the beads for patterns as well as arithmetic, and the kids can really get into it. And now that I’m almost done writing this article, I’m going to take the abacus over to my son and see if he’d like to get into some serious arithmetic. With any luck, the kids will one day help me solve some heavy engineering problems I’d like to overcome!