Our Rods are made with 1/2" craft dowels, which I painted with acrylic. Since the dowels were 10" long, I used inches as the unit of measurement for them. They are quite smaller than the real rods, but our space is limited, so I compromised. :) Children really love these!!
One that was really popular with all three children when learning their numbers was the counting work. I simply provided them with a box containing the numerals from 1 to 9 in laminated card-stock, the corresponding number of pennies to complete the work (45) and the beads. Our beads do not follow the same color code as the traditional Montessori beads, but we have kept the consistency within our our materials and extensions.