Montessori Honeybee Math Activity for Preschoolers

Math should be fun, especially for young children, right? Absolutely! Math in early childhood Montessori focuses on preparing the mathematical mind for problem-solving, logical and critical thinking. Young children are exposed to shapes, patterns and spatial relationships that lend to more complex mathematical concepts later in life. This Montessori honeybee Math Activity is an original work I created during my Montessori training.

For my Montessori training, we have to prepare and execute a unit in the classroom. I chose honeybees because honeybees are an extraordinary little creature and all children should learn of their purpose.  Below is one of my original math materials with a honeybee theme. Included are a few free printables. Enjoy!

Related Read: Learn about Parts of the Honey Bee with this Free Printable

Montessori Honeybee Math Activity

Purpose: To practice addition and subtraction skills with real objects

Age: 4+

Montessori Math Activity Materials:

Prerequisites: Bead Stair Addition and Subtraction 

Montessori Math Activity Presentation:

  1. Tell the child: “Remember when you worked with the short bead stair to do addition and subtraction? Today you are going to do addition and subtraction with honeybees.”
  2. Take the tray to a work table
  3. Identify the objects on the tray: “These are mini honeybees. These pieces represent honeycomb. Honeycomb has six sides and is called a hexagon. These are dice. Each die has six sides.”
  4. “We’ll start with addition,” grabbing an addition print out.
  5. “Roll the dice. You will see two numbers.” Demonstrate and say: “We rolled the numbers 2 and 4. Choose the bigger number (“4”) and write it in the hexagon on the left. Then, choose the smaller number (“2”) and write it in the middle hexagon. You will write the total in the hexagon on the right.
  6. Can you count 2 mini honeybees place them in the middle beehive? Do the same for 4 but place the mini honeybees in the left or first beehive.
  7. “The next step we count the total number of honeybees by first taking the two in the left most hexagon, adding them to the four in the next hexagon and moving the total number of honeybees, in this case, six, to the result place after the equals sign.”
  8. “Write ‘6’ on the print out.”
  9. Offer the child a turn.

Control of Error:

  1. Teacher
  2. Control Answer Sheets

Points of Interest:

  1. Honeybees and Honeycomb
  2. Rolling Dice
  3. Writing Numbers

Direct Aims:

  1. Addition and Subtraction
  2. One to One Correspondence


  1. Prepare equations ahead of time
  2. Use dice with more than six sides
  3. Use dice with the option to roll either addition or subtraction
  4. Partner Work

Check out additional Montessori posts on Honeybees:

Have fun!


Marnie Craycroft

Marnie hails from Maine where she spent summers buried in sand and winters buried in snow. She is the daughter of a nearly four decade veteran of the public school systems. Teaching has always been a part of her life. She founded Carrots Are Orange in 2010.

Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori learning and living website for parents and teachers.

Marnie graduated from Wesleyan University in 1999 with a BA in Economics. She spent nearly a decade working in investment management. In 2006, she earned her MA in business from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999 and currently lives in Boulder with her husband and three sons. She is Montessori trained. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, Huffington Post, and Besides writing, passions include running (usually after her three sons), photography, and outdoor adventures.

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