I want to start a new series of posts about the essential Montessori material that are used in Montessori classrooms all over the world! Now there are quite a few things that you can make or you can adapt something else to achieve the same goals and I am all for this! However sometime there are things you just need to buy and that is something that only you can decide! I have bought quite a few materials and most of them have gotten quite a bit of use! The cylinder blocks are one of my more expensive purchases, but it is also one that I am glad I made! Bunny, Pup, Bug and even Tadpole have all used them all. Not only are they great puzzles to play with, but they teach so many great things. They teach visual discrimination of sizes and diameter, they prepare for writing by the use of the pincher grip, and they also will help prepare for reading with their left to right order! So many things that can be taught through so much fun! In fact, when Bug started coming to work with us, she had a hard time holding a pencil. So I encouraged her to use the cylinder blocks and it really helped!
My other favorite part of these works is that there are so many extensions that can be used once they master all four blocks! They can use two of them in a “v” formation. They can use three in a triangle formation. Or they can use all four in a square! Plus to add to the challenge, they can do it blindfolded! The children also take great delight it finding the right knobless cylinder color and using the the colored cylinders in the blocks! I love this work. It is simple, beautiful, sturdy and so very Montessori.
Now, many people just cant afford the $100 or more that the set costs. So there are a great many things that you can use to teach size discrimination. You can use blocks, balls, puzzles, or, as John Bowman who wrote Montessori At Home! suggests, socket set! They aren’t as expensive and they are fairly similar! There are a lot of great ideas out there!
Here a few pictures of my kiddos using the cylinder block material!
I know that I have more pictures of the girls using the extensions, but I couldn’t find them! 🙂 When I do I will put them up! If you have any thoughts on this work, I would love to hear it! Happy Schooling to everyone out there making Montessori a reality in their homes!
For more really great information, check out Leptir’s blog here: