17 November, 2010

A little Waldorf, a little Montessori . . . a Little Project

Here is a quick and easy project I whipped up a few nights ago.  It is my favorite kind of project because it was not only quick and easy, but also pretty cheap!  Wow!

I thought of this when I saw something about a mushroom matching game in a magazine, although I've now forgotten which magazine it was.  I'm thinking maybe it was Magic Cabin.  I have been painting little wooden figures with mushroom hats recently, and so I thought making plain mushrooms would be really easy.  Little painted mushrooms also fit right in with my recent Waldorf-inspired activities.  Making them counting and matching numbers mushrooms also made them fit right with my Montessori-inspired activities!  Excellent!

Hopefully you can tell from this picture that the point of this little activity is to match the number of dots on the mushrooms.  There are 2 of each number, from 1 - 9.  (I would have liked to have 1 - 10, but alas I did not buy that many "mushrooms."  So, next time I go to the craft store . . . )  The mushrooms also have a control.  After the children complete the matching, they can turn the mushrooms over to reveal the written numeral on the bottom.  Assuming the child has matched all the mushrooms correctly, the numerals should all match as well.

The children seem to really gravitate toward this.  I think it is because it is bright and cheerful, has small pieces just the right size for little fingers, and also of course, because it is new.  Every child who has worked on this has had a pretty easy time until he or she gets to about 5 dots.  It does get a bit tricky to count the dots after that.  In fact, one of my older 4 year olds counted the dots on one mushroom in front of me saying, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.  There are 11!"  (Remember the numbers only go from 1 - 9.)  So, it is tricky not count dots twice.

To make a little mushroom matching activity of your own you will need:

  • 18 - 20 small unpainted wooden drawer pulls
  • small paint brushes
  • white and red paint (I use acrylic paints)

1.  Paint the bottom of the drawer pulls white, and the tops red.

2.  Add dots to each mushroom top (2 mushrooms with 1 dot, 2 with 2 dots, 2 with 3 dots . . . )

3.  Allow the paint to dry completely

4.  If desired, coat the mushrooms with Mod Podge or some other type of protective coating


Oh, and have fun!  : )


  1. That is too cute! Looks so good with Children of the forest too.

  2. This is magnificent! My oldest would LOVE this. What a great mix of two wonderful philosophies. Where did you find the wooden mushrooms? We wanted to have a mushroom hunt, but we struck out at the local wood shop.

  3. They are drawer pulls, I missed that. Thank you so very much! I will make these on vacation.

  4. Thanks! They were big fun to make. Jessie, will you send me pictures of yours when they are finished? They would be fun to see. : )

  5. Karen! This so awesome! I am going to make a set of my own! Love, love, love your blog!

  6. What a brilliant idea. So simple, so easy and yet so effective! I love the natural look of the mushrooms. You are a pit of endless and orignal resources Karen. I will borrow that idea next November, for sure (will link my reader to this post if OK with you!)

  7. I really want to try this with my children.

  8. I love it! For over a year, I have looked at wooden drawer pulls and seen mushrooms, but could never think of what I'd use them for. I have been busy earning my teaching credential and so I haven't had time. Now I have a fantastic game to make for a future classroom or gift. Thank you!

  9. This was such a great idea - I had to make it myself! Thanks for sharing, the children in my classroom LOVE it! I used white puffy paints for the dots. You can see pictures of mine at my blog - thehelpfulgarden.blogspot.com


Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )