The Montessori Tower is more commonly known as the Pink Tower. In Montessori classrooms it is traditionally a pink tower containing 10 cubes ranging in size from 1x1x1 centimeters to 10x10x10 centimeters. The objective of the activity is for the child to build the tower of graduated 3 dimensional size to develop an understanding of sequence and order. The tower belongs to the Sensorial materials area and is the second of the sensorial materials introduced in the classroom to a child.
We were spending some time today in our Montessori room when my (almost) 2 year old daughter found the Montessori Tower and wanted to use it. We set out the rug and carried the pieces one by one to the rug, setting them in random order. To demonstrate, I started stacking with the first and second block before she wanted to participate and together we made the tower with the 10 cubes. After this first introduction, I showed how to take each piece down one by one. She then went right to work starting all over again setting up the tower on her own.
I didn't introduce the tower to my oldest daughter until she was 2 3/4 years old. I hadn't planned on introducing it to my youngest daughter until she was 2 1/2, so she really surprised me with how easily she understood the task.
She absolutely loved making the tower and must have assembled it at least 5 times. Sometimes she mixed up two of the cube sequences but I did not correct it or say anything. The graduated sequence provides a visual control of error (way of knowing if it is correct or not) and so she will eventually notice a mistake and self correct it.
The smallest cube required significant concentration. I could see her concentrating to hold the little cube and focused so intently on placing it at the top of the tower.
*Often times children will enjoy the process of knocking down the tower instead of taking the pieces down one at a time. Montessori, herself, wrote about this and makes no objection to it. (I have found it is best to buy the unpainted version which won't show chipped paint.)