“The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.”
– Maria Montessori
Although the legendary Montessori Pink Tower is typically the second sensorial material presented to preschoolers in a traditional Montessori environment, it happens to be my daughter’s favorite at the moment. So, let’s talk about how she works with it right now.
Background on Sensorial Materials & The Montessori Pink Tower
Sensorial materials encourage the development and refinement of the five senses. They isolate one sense at a time and have a built-in control of error that provides the child with the freedom to self-correct without the aid of the guide.
The Pink Tower was designed by Dr. Montessori for use by her pupils in Casa Dei Bambini, her first classroom. It consists of ten wooden cubes from 1 cubic cm to 10 cubic cm, increasing in size by 1 cubic cm each. The color, shape, and texture are the same for each cube, allowing the child to focus in on the visual discrimination of size in these three-dimensional objects. The Pepto Bismol pink color was found during her research and design process to be the most visually appealing color to the children.
Why We Use It in Our Homeschool
The Pink Tower is simple, attractive, and easy to work with. Most children ages 2.5 – 6 will enjoy using this material. What makes it one of the most valuable and therefore recognizable materials in many primary Montessori environments, is that it relates to seven of the eleven sensitive periods of development. This one set of materials appeals to the child’s need for Order, Language, Movement, Sensation, Small Objects, Emotional Control, and Math Patterns, depending on how it is incorporated into their play.
- Build the Montessori Pink Tower according to the lesson
- Identify the individual cubes by size
- Use language descriptors (smallest, small, big, biggest) when describing cubes
- Identify the smallest cube as the unit of difference in size between each successive one
How We Use the Montessori Pink Tower
Both my 2.5 year-old daughter and my 1 year-old son play with it frequently. As a result, we do not include the two smallest cubes in our homeschool environment at this time. This seems to be a pretty common adaptation for Montessori environments that include young toddlers.
The Sensorial lesson for the Pink Tower includes transferring the cubes and stand from the presentation area to the child’s work area one by one, using one hand for small cubes and two hands for large cubes. You can increase the amount of movement, concentration, and time required to complete the activity by having the child place their mat further from where the Pink Tower is displayed. Afterwards, the child successfully builds the tower by neatly placing the largest cube on the stand, followed by the next largest, and so on, until precisely placing the smallest cube at the very top.
Observations of Working With the Montessori Pink Tower
Our daughter is 2.5 has been working with the Pink Tower since June. Since that time, she enjoys building the tower and I have observed her pausing to reassess on the occasions where something is out of order. The larger, heavier blocks are easier to place with precision, while the smaller blocks may require two hands and several attempts to place precisely. Also, she understands the meaning of small and big, and is able to identify as well as use language descriptors.
We are currently introducing smallest and biggest for more in-depth comparison among the blocks. In the future, we will introduce the concept of unit of difference in size.
The Montessori Pink Tower Extension
Kids really enjoy playing with blocks and ours are no exception. Our daughter’s favorite extension for the Pink Tower is using the cubes as bases on which to stack her Schleich animals collection. Sometimes, she lines them all up by size. She then matches the size of the dinosaur to the size of the cube. Other times, she likes to stack as many as she can on the larger blocks.
The Montessori Pink Tower is an awesome hands-on way of introducing concepts related to size to your preschooler. Also, it’s a beautiful, affordable, and simple yet versatile addition to any homeschool space. Kids are sure to enjoy exploring and tapping into their creativity using this material. In fact, we are overjoyed at the thought of anyone introducing it into their homeschool environment. It’s not just a set of blocks. It’s a well-designed interactive tool for engaging young minds.
More Montessori Sensorial Materials
- Sensorial Materials: Montessori Geometric Solids and How We Use Them
- Sensorial Materials: Montessori Color Tablets Box I, II, and III All in One
More Primary Homeschool Resources
- Montessori Minimalist Homeschool Planning: A How-To Guide
- Montessori Primary Curriculum
- The Best Montessori Sensorial Materials for Homeschool Plus FREE Ebook Guide
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