This is one of the first Montessori sensory materials 3 years olds are introduced to. 10 wooden rods measuring 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 e 100 cm. The purpose is preparation to mathematics (each rod represents a number from 1 to 10) and discrimination of different dimensions.
The older kids often use them for measuring. Leonardo (8 years old) was reading in a book that the T-Rex could be 13 metres long. He took the longest rod and measured 13 times its length. He could now really see wat 13 metres were like.
Red rods are very easy to make. The process is the same used for number rods but with just one color.
If you are wondering why Maria Montessori choose red, this is a very frequent question. Apparently, there is not a real reason but the fact that, like all the other materials, number rods shouldn’t look like anything else. You can paint them whatever color you like but if your child attends a Montessori environment, using red is recommended so that the child will recognize the same material at school.