You will be able to find this material in our Nursery and Reception classrooms and in any Montessori classroom around the world. It was designed by María Montessori and is part of the Sensorial materials. The child is a sensorial learner; with their senses they explore and understand the world. It is this contact with the world that has a direct influence on the child’s intelligence. Some may think that the Pink Tower is “just a stack of blocks”, but it is so much more!
It consists on ten wooden cubes which increase progressively by 1cm to 10cm. All the cubes are the same colour, shape and texture, isolating the quality of size. This material develops the child’s discrimination of dimension. Each time the child takes a cube and places it on the mat, they can feel the difference in weight and size. As they build the Pink Tower on a mat ,the child is refining their voluntary movements by carefully placing each cube without it falling. Through repetition and the development of hand-eye coordination, the child gains control over these voluntary movements and learns self-control. It is a silent master with which the child builds itself, puts order in their mind and builds their logical-mathematical mind. It permits the child the autocorrection of error without causing inhibitions and therefore takes the child to be independent and supports the child’s self-esteem. This control of error encourages the child to think and use reason.
The Pink Tower indirectly prepares the child for language and for maths. It prepares the hand for writing as the child needs to use their three finger grip to carry each cube and as the cube gets bigger and heavier ,their grip needs to change, thus strengthening their hand muscles. Through language games, the child learns new vocabulary and it gives the child broader opportunities for clear, meaningful expression and communication. It is also indirectly introduces the child to the decimal system and to geometry. All of this absorbed through the child’s absorbent mind.
So, why pink? Apparently when Dr Montessori scientifically designed this material and told the carpenter to make it but the only colour paint he had at that moment was pink!