Next week, I will share some options for homemade versions of the Pink Tower, but before I show you several ways to recreate this gorgeous material, I want to show you its importance and purpose.
The pink tower is aesthetically appealing, self-correcting in the size and weight differences between each square, and is also designed to be able to eventually do extensions with — on its own and with the Broad (brown) Stair. It teaches visual and muscular discrimination and perceptions, how larger units will have larger weights, visual memory, sequencing, fine motor skills, coordination of movement, comparison, grading, and greater math concepts, such as cubing and multiplication.
I purchased my Pink Tower from a discount seller (Montessori Equipment / iFit) and I honestly find its quality comparable to the better quality Towers that I have had the pleasure of handling. I cannot speak to harsh classroom use, which I suspect would be where the differences would be noticed. My Pink Tower is used by one child (and her friends) and is used maybe once a day. After five months of use there are a couple of small nicks, but none of the paint has been chipped and there is no off-gassing, as I’ve heard can be experienced with other low-cost materials.
The Pink Tower should be presented to a child as follows:
- Set up a work mat away from the cubes, which are laid out horizontally (not in a Tower formation)
- Bring each cube over to the mat; if you are homeschooling, you can teach the child to properly carry and set down each cube (randomly)
- Slowly show the child how to build the tower, first horizontally, showing how the smallest cube is the exact difference in size between each cube by “walking” the smallest cube up the tower; next (or at another presentation) teach the child how to build the tower vertically
- Invite the child to investigate the tower from different perspectives, and curb any urges to “knock down” the Pink Tower, as this is misuse of materials
- Dissemble the tower in an orderly manner and then encourage the child to rebuild
Key vocabulary can be developed here, but is not the focus: heavier, lighter, bigger, smaller, etc.
While there are DIY options with the Pink Tower, I would only attempt the DIY if purchasing a lower-priced version was not attractive and/or if you had a friend interested in splitting the work and materials with you.