What is the Colour Box?

Colour Boxes are one of the most visually appealing Montessori materials. Created to be introduced to children in three stages, Colour Boxes 1, 2 and 3 contain a different amount of matching coloured tablets, which are rectangular with handles on the side.

As part of the Sensorial curriculum area, this material engages multiple senses. It also has endless extensions and activities which can be added for children to reach different and more meaningful conclusions.


The main purpose of the Colour Box is to develop a child’s visual sense of colour.

Primary colours (Red, Yellow and Blue) are introduced in Colour Box 1, which is first presented to a child at 2.5 to 3 years of age. Colour Boxes 2 and 3 add more tablets to the mix, expanding a child’s colour knowledge.

The Colour Box is also gives children experience in matching, and develops the child’s fine motor skills through the use of the pincer grip.


Invite the child over to the Sensorial area and tell them you will be working with the Colour Box

Show the child how to carry the box with your two hands on opposite sides of the box with your fingers underneath the box and your thumbs over the top.

Place the box on the top right corner of your table or mat. take the lid off from the box, and place it next to the box.

One tablet at a time, take out the coloured tablets, making sure you use a pincer grip to touch only the handles of the tablets. Randomly place the tablets.

Pick up one tablet, show it to the child and name it. “This is red.” Then place it vertically in front of the child.

Ask the child to find the matching pair, and place it next to the original tablet.

Continue for the remain colours, placing the first of each colour vertically underneath the preceding pair.

Randomise the tablets, and invite the child to match the pairs.


Once the child can easily identify and pair the colour tablets, an activity can be built around matching everyday objects to the colour in Colour Box 1.

Collect a few small items that are red, yellow and blue. Once the child has paired the tablets correctly, ask them to group the items accordingly. As the child correctly completes the activity, add more items next time they choose to work with the Colour Box.

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