There are three separate boxes, each containing 6-8 wooden tablets.
The tablets are all the same size. A different wood is used in eachbox.
The woods differ in weight. Example: pine, beech, and teak.
These woods naturally vary in color, too.
1) To exercise the baric sense.
2) To become intelligently observant of the environment.
3) The child develops the ability to make fine discriminations in
4) Preparation for mathematics and understanding measurement by
4 years onwards
Two boxes, those containing the heaviest and lightest woods are
taken to a table. The teacher and the child sit opposite each
other. The teacher places the heavier tablets in one pile and the
lighter in another.
The teacher shows the child how to hold his or her hands out (slightly
above the table), palms upwards. The teacher simultaneously places a light
tablet on one of the child's hands and a heavy one in the other
hand. The teacher asks the child which is the heavier. When the child has decided the teacher
shows the child how to put the light tablet in one place and the heavier
in another. The teacher continues to place tablets in the palms of the child's
hands asking the child to compare the weights and place the lighter
ones in one pile and the heavier ones in another.
When the child understands the exercise he or she is encouraged to use
the tablets while wearing a blindfold, as then the child cannot depend on
the color of the wood. Being blindfolded also enhances the child's
ability to judge weight. Later, the child can manage alone. He or she
mixes the tablets on the table and picks them up by him or herself and
sorts them by weight.
The child practices with the lightest and heaviest sets of
When the child has become proficient with the two extremes (light
and heavy), the teacher introduces the medium weight tablets. She
introduces the medium tablets with one or the other of the
remaining sets (light or heavy).
When the child is able to distinguish the sets separately, he or she
takes all three sets of weights. The child mixes them on a table and
sorts them by weight into three piles.
Since the sets are different woods, they differ slightly in color.
The child can visually check to see that the colors of the wood in
each pile are uniform when he or she has finished the exercise.
Heavy - Light
Heavy - Heavier - Heaviest
Light - Lighter - Lightest
Readings and Reference
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