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 has the heavier tablets in one pile and the
lighter in another.
The teacher shows the child how to hold his hands out (slightly
above the table), palms upwards. The simultaneously places a light
tablet on one of the child's hands and a heavy one in his other
hand. She asks him which is the heavier. When he has decided she
shows him how to ut the light tablet in one place and the heavier
in another. She continues to place tablets in the palms of his
hands asking him to compare the weights and putting the lighter
ones in one pile and the heavier ones in another.
When the child understands the exercise he is encouraged to use
the tablets while wearing a blindfold, as then he cannot depend on
the color of the wood. Being blindfolded also enhances his
ability to judge weight. Later, the child can manage alone. He
mixes the tablets on the table and picks them up by himself 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
takes all three sets of weights. He 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 has finished the exercise.
Heavy - Light
Heavy - Heavier - Heaviest
Light - Lighter - Lightest
Readings and Reference
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