Montessori Encyclopedia: Color Box 2
How do you use this material?
Color Box 2 is a long wooden box in the Sensorial Area, containing 22 color tablets: pairs of blue, red, yellow, green, orange, purple, black, white, grey, brown, and pink. This material is presented after and nearly identically to Color Box 1.
The guide will invite the child to take the box to a table or to a rug, and they’ll examine the contents together.
As this material was originally made with silk threads, which were easily soiled, the guide will demonstrate the careful way of holding each color tablet, with thumb and forefinger on the wooden edges of each tablet.
The guide will remove the six primary color tablets, red, blue, and yellow, from the box and mix the pairs, and invite the child to pair the tablets. If the child can do this easily, the guide will remove the secondary colors, orange, purple, and green, and the child will be invited to pair them. Then, the guide will remove the final colors, black, grey, pink, white, and brown, and the child will be invited to pair these colors.
After pairing all the tablets, the guide will again mix the pairs and invite the child to pair all the color tablets.
When the child is successful pairing the tablets in Color Box 2, the guide will introduce language and games with the color tablets, such as gathering items from around the classroom which are a certain color, or matching from across the room.
What is the child learning?
The child is gaining experience pairing items and identifying colors.
When playing games, the child is learning that not only these tablets can be red, there is red all around us!
What does a child not know they’re learning?
The child is developing their chromatic sense, which will be further refined with Color Box 3. The child is also developing fine motor control and self-control when they hold the color tablets in the precise manner, only on the edges.
What can be done at home?
This is a fun game to play with household items, particularly on a snowy day or when dinner is not quite ready, and normal games are a bit tired.
Select one color, and a gathering place. For instance, green, and the coffee table. A child can find all the items in this room, or in the house, or books on the shelf, which correspond to the selected color.
This can also be a fun moment for a bit of friendly competition — how many things can you find in one minute? Or before I’m finished chopping these vegetables? Or how many things can you find when you work together?
When out running errands, keep an eye out for red cars. Take a walk and notice the various shades of orange in the Fall, or green in the Spring. Name colors you see in the sunset or sunrise, and feel free to be precise — magenta, crimson, burgundy.
Written by:Charlotte Snyder