Montessori Sensorial Materials: Binomial Cube

binomial cube

Binomial Cube! What is That? Many teachers may feel intimidated by it at first as well as caregivers and parents looking to homeschool the Montessori way. Its unique name alone can be frightening to many, as the word “Binomial Cube” sounds like complicated math material.

It is not, however, math material but a Montessori Sensorial material. Like many others, it refines the skills needed for mathematics and other learning through hands-on exploration.

This article will explain the Binomial Cube, the purpose it serves, and how you can present it to your little one. You will also find extension activities for further exploration.

What is the Binomial Cube?

Montessori Binomial Cube is one of many materials used in Montessori education. It is also great material to introduce children to math as they explore and discover how it works.

The Binomial Cube material is a lidded box containing eight colored wooden blocks that make a cube when put together properly. The box has hinges on 2 of its adjacent sides so that a kid can see the block pattern.

The lid of the box has a pattern matching that of the blocks inside, and the child uses this as a base for construction. The cube consists of two layers of blocks and a pattern of prisms and cubes representing the binomial equation.

For What Age?

The binomial cube is a Sensorial material, and it is recommended to be introduced to kids at 3-5 years old. Children at this age have a great sense of exploration, so it would be perfect for letting them play with this material to discover its hidden features. 

The Purpose Of Montessori Binomial Cube

purpose of binomial cube

Montessori Binomial Cube is one of the common sensorial materials used in Montessori classrooms, but only some know the benefits it can provide to the child. Some parents only know that it is part of the Montessori curriculum. Well, they are right, but there is a deeper reason why this material is essential for your child’s growth.

All Montessori sensorial materials have both direct and indirect aims. The direct aim of this binomial cube is for the kids to correctly build the cube within the box while using and developing visual acuity and dexterity. The indirect aim of the Montessori binomial cube is to prepare the child to learn advanced algebraic concepts. It is ideal to allow the young kid to think of the Montessori binomial cube as a 3-D puzzle allowing them to concentrate on the pattern and spatial relationship rather than worrying about mathematical formulas.

The binomial cube is one of many sensorial lessons that indirectly prepare your little one for mathematics. It is the best example of how Dr. Montessori introduced concrete learning before abstract learning. Some of the best sensorial lessons your young kid might learn before the Montessori binomial cubes are color tablets and geometric cabinets. There are also lots of extensions to the Montessori binomial cube, and once it is mastered, your kid moves on to the trinomial cube.

How To Present The Montessori Binomial Cube

presenting the binomial cube

Now that you’ve learned the purpose of the Montessori binomial cube and the best age to introduce it let’s talk about how to present this material to a kid.

  • Be sure the cube is constructed correctly prior in its box to introducing this lesson to a kid.
  • Invite the kid to carry the Cube box to the working table.
  • Place the box in the upper left corner of the workspace or table with the patterned sides toward you.
  • Take the lid from the box and put it pattern-side-up in front of the kid to where the lid’s position matches the Montessori Binomial Cube.
  • Point out the matching patterns of the lid of the box and cube.
  • Open the box on two sides, showing the youngster that the pattern on the lid matches that of the blocks.
  • Slowly remove all the blocks from the box one by one. 
  • Sort the blocks by color order. Leave an inch of space so the color can be seen.
  • Tell the kid you are now going to construct the cube, and using the lid of the box, start with the red block.
  • Point to the red side of the placed block and tell you you need to match this color.
  • Find a matching block and put it in the right spot.
  • Keep working in this manner until you complete the first level. The pattern at the top should match the lid of the box.
  • Place your hand on the first level to show the kid that it is flat.
  • Now tell the kid you will move this layer into its box.
  • Once the first layer is in the box, start the second level on top; using the lid as a reference, begin with an all-blue cube. If the kid has caught on to the pattern, allow them to help.
  • When the second level is complete, again, put a hand to show the kid that it is flat.
  • Now tell him you will move the last layer into the box.
  • Close the box, one side at a time, then replace the lid.
  • Invite your kid to work with the Montessori binomial cube.

Montessori Binomial Cube Extension Activities:

binomial cube extension activities

Encourage your child to take their time to familiarize the way to work the Binomial cube. After many tries and they already master it. This is the time to engage in some binomial cube extension activities. Extension activities are developed to challenge and extend the child’s skill level. These activities should be age-appropriate, fun, and build upon your child’s learning. Extension activities will allow them to continue to develop their skills in a variety of ways while keeping it interesting.

1. Building The Binomial Cube Without The Lid

This is a fun but quite challenging activity done with an adult’s help. An adult will guide your child in building the binomial cube without the sensorial box and lid. This activity helps a kid work with placement and spatial relationships while building the binomial cube.

2. Let’s Sort The Blocks

Before a child engages in constructing a Binomial Cube, they need to know how to sort a set of blocks into different colors and shapes. This activity is intended for younger kids who are not yet ready for Binomial Cube construction.

3. Perform a Stereognostic Exercise

Do a stereognostic exercise and invite the kid to create the cube while blindfolded. This is done to develop the child’s sense of touch. This detour will also help them to plan their moves before engaging to construct the cube.

4. Let’s Color The Cube

For many kids, color is something they will enjoy doing. They love distinguishing colors, and it also helps them develop the ability to label different shapes and sizes with colors. This activity will allow your kid to grow in color recognition and shape identification through this activity.

Final Thoughts

Montessori binomial cube is an example of concrete learning. It is a fun and challenging activity that builds upon the child’s tactile learning of 3-D shapes and spatial relationships. Become a master of the Montessori Binomial Cube by engaging in these activities, enriching your child’s development and enhancing their growth in geometric learning.

At Montessori Academy, we emphasize enabling children to learn through hands-on experience. We believe the Montessori Binomial Cube will greatly assist your child’s learning process, as it enhances their development in various ways.


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