Montessori Sensorial Materials: Presenting the Montessori Geometric Cabinet

geometric cabinet

In the world of Montessori education, the use of sensorial materials plays a critical role in helping children develop their senses, perception, and cognitive skills. Among these materials, the Montessori Geometric Cabinet is one of the most important tools that help children to explore and understand the world of geometry. The cabinet is a unique set of materials that offers an intuitive and hands-on approach for children to understand the concepts of shape, size, and dimension.

In this blog post, we will explore the Montessori Geometric Cabinet in depth, delving into its purpose and its many benefits to the Montessori classroom. We will also provide practical tips and strategies for presenting the materials to children and incorporating them into lesson plans. 

Geometric Cabinet: Exploring This Montessori Sensorial Material

Unleash the wonders of geometry with the Montessori Geometric Cabinet! This wooden treasure features six drawers, each holding six square templates adorned with captivating geometric plane figures in dark blue. Equipped with knobs at their center, these insets can be effortlessly lifted for hands-on exploration. 

As children engage with the shapes, they embark on an exciting journey of classification, discovering triangles, circles, rectangles, and squares. The Geometric Cabinet cultivates a profound understanding of basic geometry concepts through tactile materials, paving the way for a strong mathematical foundation. Watch your child’s curiosity soar as they delight in the captivating world of shapes with this exceptional Montessori sensorial material.

The Purpose of the Montessori Geometric Cabinet

geometric cabinet

The Montessori Geometric Cabinet serves a crucial purpose in helping children enhance their ability to visually discern and differentiate shapes. This skill is fundamental for their life and education, particularly in reading. With the Geometric Cabinet, children can develop the necessary visual discrimination skills needed to comprehend the diverse shapes encountered throughout their journey of learning and exploration.

Other Benefits of the Montessori Geometric Cabinet

The Montessori Geometric Cabinet offers a plethora of additional benefits that support children’s holistic development. Through meaningful engagement with this material, children experience advantages that extend beyond the realm of visual discrimination and shape recognition.

  • Refinement of Pincer Grasp: Manipulating the various geometric shapes and knobs exercises strengthen fine motor skills, specifically the pincer grasp. This refined grip is crucial for activities like writing and self-care tasks.
  • Introduction of Relevant Vocabulary: Children develop a foundational understanding of geometry while expanding their language skills by learning to identify and name the different geometric shapes. This introduction to specialized vocabulary sets the stage for future learning.
  • Increased Concentration: Working with the Geometric Cabinet requires focused attention and mental effort. As children match shapes to their corresponding indentations or complete patterns, they develop the ability to sustain concentration, leading to improved focus and attention in various learning tasks.
  • Increased Control of Body Movement: Precisely placing the shapes in the Geometric Cabinet enhances children’s coordination and spatial awareness. This increased body movement control extends to activities involving fine motor skills and spatial relationships.

Contents of the Montessori Geometric Cabinet

The Geometric Cabinet Demonstration Tray complements the Cabinet, featuring a circle, triangle, and square. Its purpose is to introduce children to the vocabulary and characteristics of these three main geometric shapes before they explore the Geometric Cabinet.

Montessori Geometric Cabinet – The Drawers

montessori geometric cabinet drawers

The Geometric Cabinet is a wooden marvel comprising six drawers, each housing six squares with dark blue geometric plane figure insets. With center knobs for easy handling, children can lift and examine the insets, promoting tactile learning and visual discrimination.

Drawer 1

This drawer contains six wooden circles of decreasing diameters, ranging from 10 cm to 5cm. These circles allow children to explore and understand the concept of size gradation while refining kids’ visual and tactile senses.

Drawer 2

Inside this drawer are six rectangles with diminishing widths, ranging from 10 cm to 5cm. Children can use these wooden insets to develop visual discrimination skills and comprehend variations in rectangular shapes.

Drawer 3

Six types of triangles can be found in this drawer: obtuse scalene, right scalene, equilateral, right isosceles, acute isosceles, and obtuse isosceles. Children can explore the unique attributes of each triangle, fostering an understanding of angles and sides.

Drawer 4

Children will find wooden insets in this drawer representing six regular polygons: decagon, nonagon, octagon, heptagon, hexagon, and pentagon. This allows children to grasp the concept of regular shapes with equal sides and angles.

Drawer 5

The fifth drawer houses insets of various curved shapes, including ellipse, oval, curvilinear triangle, and quatrefoil. Children can differentiate between these shapes, enhancing their visual perception and shape recognition abilities.

Drawer 6

Inside this drawer, children can find wooden insets representing rhombus, parallelogram, right trapezoid, and isosceles trapezoid. By examining and manipulating these insets, children gain insights into the characteristics of different quadrilateral shapes.

Presenting the Montessori Geometric Cabinet

Presenting the Geometric Cabinet is an important step in introducing children to the world of shapes and geometry. The Geometric Cabinet is designed to help children develop their visual and tactile discrimination skills and fine motor skills. Here’s how you can guide the child through the process:

1. Introducing the Drawer

introducing the drawer

Begin by showing the child where to find the drawer they will be working within the Geometric Cabinet. Teach them how to carefully carry the drawer to the table, emphasizing the importance of being gentle and precise with the materials.

2. Preparing the Inset

Start with the shape located at the top left corner of the drawer. Remove each inset from the drawer by its knob and place them randomly on the table below the drawer. This allows the child to see all the insets in a disorganized manner.

3. Tracing the Inset

Encourage the child to lift one inset from the table using a pincer grasp, holding it between the thumb and forefinger. Instruct them to turn the inset towards themselves and slowly trace the edge of the shape in a counter-clockwise direction using the two primary fingers of their dominant hand. This tracing motion helps the child visually and kinesthetically understand the shape.

4. Identifying the Socket

Guide the child in exploring the different inset sockets on the drawer by running their fingers over each one with the inset in hand. Prompt them to continue searching until they find the socket that matches the shape they are holding.

5. Placing the Inset

geometric cabinet

Once the matching socket is found, ask the child to use their primary fingers again to slowly trace the edge of the socket. Encourage them to place the inset into the socket, properly aligning the edges.

6. Completing the Drawer

Repeat this process with the remaining insets, encouraging the child to explore and match each shape with its corresponding socket on the drawer.

7. Child’s Turn

After all the insets have been placed in the drawer, take them out again and invite the child to try the activity independently. Provide guidance and support as needed, allowing the child to practice their skills and develop confidence.

Remember to offer positive reinforcement and encouragement throughout the presentation, praising the child’s efforts and emphasizing the importance of precision and attention to detail. 

Extension Activities for Montessori Geometric Cabinet

trace insets with a pencil

Looking for ways to help your child further explore the Montessori Geometric Cabinet? Try these engaging extension activities that build upon the foundational skills developed through the cabinet’s shape and spatial recognition exercises. Your child will love the challenge and creativity these activities bring to their learning experience.

  • Nomenclature Card Exercise: This involves creating cards with pictures or illustrations of each geometric shape found in the Cabinet. The child is then encouraged to match these cards with the corresponding geometric insets inside the Cabinet. This activity helps children associate the names of the shapes with their visual representation, promoting language development and reinforcing their understanding of geometric concepts.
  • Performing the Activity Blindfolded: Encourage the child to identify and place the insets in the correct sockets blindfolded. This activity enhances their tactile discrimination and spatial awareness, fostering a deeper connection with the geometric shapes.
  • Trace Insets with a Pencil: Place a sheet of paper over the inset and have the child gently trace the shape with a pencil. This activity enhances fine motor control and reinforces the visual representation of geometric figures.
  • Use Multiple Drawers at a Time: Challenge the child by presenting two or more drawers simultaneously. They must sort and classify the insets from different drawers, promoting advanced cognitive skills and organization.
  • Trace Sockets with a Pencil: Encourage the child to trace the shape of the sockets on separate paper, matching them with the corresponding insets. This activity refines their understanding of shape relationships and encourages accurate placement.

Final Thoughts

The Montessori Geometric Cabinet is a testament to sensorial materials’ significance in early childhood education. Its alluring design, featuring six drawers filled with captivating geometric plane figures, opens a world of possibilities for young learners. Through tactile exploration, children embark on a thrilling journey of classification, encountering triangles, circles, rectangles, and squares. This hands-on experience fosters a profound understanding of basic geometry concepts and lays a solid mathematical foundation. As their curiosity soars, children develop vital skills such as visual discrimination, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor control, nurturing holistic growth.

Montessori Preschools recognize the transformative power of sensorial materials, and the Montessori Academy takes pride in offering a wide range of enriching educational tools, including the Montessori Geometric Cabinet. Guided by Montessori philosophy, these materials empower children to explore and discover the world at their own pace, igniting a lifelong love for learning. With the Geometric Cabinet as one of the many exceptional resources, children at Montessori Academy thrive in an environment that nurtures their natural curiosity and creativity, setting them on a path of self-discovery and academic excellence.


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