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Large Wooden Montessori 3D Geometric Solids Shapes set of 10

Large Wooden Montessori 3D Geometric Solids Shapes set of 10

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The Montessori Geometric Solids

Purpose and Presentation

The Montessori Geometric Solids is arguably one of the most fun and fascinating of all the sensorial materials. These appealing three-dimensional shapes really beckon children to explore them.

What are the Geometric Solids in Montessori?

The Montessori Geometric Solids material is a set of 10 wooden 3-D shapes that are sanded smooth and painted blue. They are housed in a wooden box along with stands for the solids that may roll.

The purpose of these 3-D shapes is to demonstrate how 3d shapes relate to 2d shapes

For example, when a child works with the square-based pyramid, they will see that the sides are made up of 4 triangles and the base consists of 1 square.

The shapes included in the material:

  • cube
  • sphere
  • cylinder
  • rectangular prism
  • square-based pyramid
  • triangular-based prism
  • ovoid
  • ellipsoid
  • cone
  • triangular prism

Dimensions 5.5cm x 15cm x 21cm

This is great preparation for future geometry and trigonometry work, as hands-on exploration of three-dimensional shapes is helpful for gaining a deeper understanding of concepts like angles, planes, and trigonometric functions.

While this material is a preparation for the complicated math work that lies ahead, the Geometric Solids are presented to a child in a simple and fun way – and without any advanced mathematical jargon.

After all, this is a sensorial material and not a math material.

At the time this activity is presented, during the second year  of a Montessori primary program, a child may have already worked with some of the shapes during language arts activities , however, that is not always the case.

Children will work with these geometric shapes again during the elementary years when they learn more in-depth physical science and geometry.

Montessori geometric shapes material

While some Montessori sensorial materials are difficult to find for purchase, the Geometric are not, however finding a well-made set can be a challenge.

Purpose of the Montessori Geometric Solids

  • development of Stereognostic Sense

Indirect aims

  • pre-geometry work

control of Error

  • visual

Points of interest

  • the smoothness of the sold shapes
  • the different shapes
  • that some of the solids roll and some don't

How to present the Montessori Geometric Solids lesson

Note: This lesson should be presented on a large floor mat. If the child is not ready to learn all of the names of the geometric shapes, it is fine to only introduce the ones with simple names; cylinder, sphere, cone, and cube.

A 3 period vocabulary lesson should accompany this activity.

  • Carry the box of Geometric Solids to the work mat and place them in a row in the order you plan on introducing them, from left to right.
  • Explain to the child that you will be exploring how each solid feels.
  • Pick up the shape to the far left and either look away or close your eyes.
  • touch the shape on all sides with both hands, exploring it fully.
  • Explain to the child that you are now going to explore how the shapes moves.
  • Place the shape down on the mat and slide it and roll it on all sides. Watch how it rolls or tumbles.
  • Place the shape back in the row and continue with these 2 steps for all 10 solids.
  • Invite the child to preform the activity.

Geometric Solids extension activities

Sorting the Montessori geometric shapes

Have the child sort the shapes by how they feel and/or how they move. For example, the child can place all the shapes that roll together and all the shapes that slide together.

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