Introducing the Pink Tower
The Pink Tower is the iconic Montessori material. Often called the ‘symbol of Montessori’, it is a welcoming sign in any Montessori environment, and a favourite with educators globally.
Part of the sensorial area, it is comprised of 10 pink wooden cubes, in 3 different dimensions. The smallest being 1cm cubed, and the largest being 10cm cubed. The cubes progressively get bigger in the algebraic series of the third power. This means the second cube equals 8 of the first (23), the third cube equals 27 of the first (33) and so on.
Introduced into the Montessori environment when children are 2.5 – 3 years old, the Pink Tower has multiple purposes.
Firstly, the Pink Tower helps a child build a concept of size in three dimensions. This includes working on visual perception, and awareness of dimension, both leading to an understanding of size in the environment.
The Pink Tower also helps develop a child’s fine muscular coordination. The activity stemming from this material work on the perfection hand movements, and the coordination of movement.
Finally, the Pink Tower is a Montessori material which helps prepare children for abstract mathematical concepts. This includes preparation for spatial volume, and the cube root.
The Pink Tower is a perfect example of how Montessori materials require children to use multiple sense at once. They are created in such a way to compliment a child’s stage of development, where they use all their senses to learn.
1) Roll out a mat as your workstation.
2) Invite the child to the sensorial area and identify the pink tower.
3) Starting at the top, with the smallest cube, pick up one at a time, with one hand on top and one hand on underneath. Carry the cubes to the mat and arrange randomly on mat.
4) Once all cubes are on the mat, sit on the child’s dominant side.
5) Begin to construct the Pink Tower, by picking up the largest cube with fingertips of each hand on either side of the cube.
6) From time to time, stop and pause to compare a cube to the next smallest one to make certain you chose the appropriate next cube. Also, take time to center using a bird’s eye view as your measure.
7) When the tower is complete, check centering using a bird’s eye view once again.
8) Randomize the cubes again and offer the child a turn. Remember they will make mistakes at first, but will gradually perfect the ability to judge size with practice.
Once the child has mastered building the tower, invite them to us the Pink Tower in conjunction with the Brown Stairs.
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