Rainbow Sensory Blocks
A set of blocks that provides a multi-faceted sensory experience for the eyes, the ears and the hands!
Each block features a translucent colour to stimulate the visual sense. The child can observe the colours while examining the blocks or using them to build structures. This provides a great incidental opportunity to learn (or revise!) the names of these colours (yellow, blue, green, red/pink, orange, purple). The colours are translucent so the child can also use them like 'telescopes' or 'glasses' to view the world in different hues!
Each Rainbow Sensory Block contains a hidden treasure - an array of beads ranging in size and quantity.
Each Block therefore creates its own unique sound. Younger children (2-3) will enjoy simply exploring these sounds and refining the hand-eye coordination needed to shake them rhythmically! Older children (4-6) might enjoy considering concepts such as volume, for instance to identify the 'loudest' or 'quietest' sounds.
The Rainbow Sensory Blocks also offer a beautiful tactile experience. The hands will enjoy exploring the smooth wooden sides and comparing the sensations of the corners of the cubes or the curves of the cylinders. The hands are also engaged when using the blocks for building or pattern formation.
These little hands enjoyed playing 'spot the bead' by holding each Block up to the light and pointing to the bead(s) within!
The set consists of six pieces - two cylinders, two cubes and two rectangular prisms. Each pair of geometric shapes matches in size. These blocks provide a great opportunity to introduce the language of these common three-dimensional shapes. The fact that they are presented in pairs allows you to introduce activities such as matching or memory games.
The Rainbow Blocks are also perfect for light table exploration. The use of a light table heightens the vibrancy of the colours. As the child stacks the blocks on the light table it allows an opportunity to experiment with colour mixing. Placing the blue cube atop the red/pink prism suddenly creates a square of purple!
The Rainbow Blocks come equipped with their own wooden storage container. This is perfect for presenting the Blocks in the Montessori prepared environment. The box essentially acts as a frame - keeping the pieces contained and complete while still allowing them to be seen! The dimensions of the storage box precisely fit the six blocks - so if one block is not returned to its frame then it is immediately noticeable. This acts as a 'self-correcting mechanism' to encourage the child to independently notice the missing piece and locate it before replacing the material to the shelf. This reduces the risk of losing pieces!
The Rainbow Sensory Blocks fit perfectly into their special frame. The lid is painted red to identify the top so that the child knows which way to hold it when lifting.
The storage frame even provides an opportunity for an important 'Practical Life' lesson so that the child can learn to care for the materials. When replacing the blocks to the frame I present the "elevator" method to the child. The child picks up the first block in one hand and holds it in position at the top of the frame (without letting it drop). The child's other hand comes through the frame to hold the base of that block. The child then carefully lowers that second hand, bringing the block along with it. This method is reminiscent of the movement of an elevator through a shaft (hence my name for it!) and it ensures that the blocks are not damaged by rough handling. It also allows the full set of blocks to fit perfectly into the frame.
The 'elevator' method for replacing each block to the frame.
Finally (and it might sound like a funny detail to mention!) the Rainbow Sensory Blocks come in a clearly labelled and illustrated box! Any parent or teacher knows how challenging it can be to find storage space for all the treasures. Materials that have a clearly labelled box (like this one!) are extraordinarily helpful in this regard as they are easier to store, stack and then locate! A quick glance in the cupboard (or, in our case, on top of it!) and you can easily see the box. It saves you from rooting around underneath and behind other resources or opening countless generic boxes to find it.
The Rainbow Blocks box sitting clearly between our Percussion Set and Balance Scales.