Sensorial: Geometric presentation tray of 2D shapes

Kindergarten age children 3 years onwards are in a sensitive period for language and for order. They want to know the names of things and have an innate desire to classify their knowledge. To expand the knowledge of the children when it comes to learning about the 2D shapes, the Montessori Geometric Cabinet is a visual sensorial material composed of a variety of two-dimensional shapes, where its purpose is to isolate visual distinctions between forms. The forms of the shapes vary in either shape or size.


The Montessori Geometric Cabinet includes:

  • Circles of various diameters

  • Square and rectangles of varying lengths

  • Triangles: - Equilateral - Acute-angled isosceles - Right-angled isosceles - Obtuse-angled isosceles - Right-angled scalene - Obtuse-angled scalene

  • Regular polygons: - Pentagon - Hexagon - Heptagon - Octagon - Nonagon - Decagon

  • Quadrilaterals - Rhombus - Parallelogram - Right-angled trapezoid - Isosceles trapezoid

  • Curved figures: - Curvilinear triangle - Ellipse - Oval - Quatrefoil

  • Demonstration tray to display three shapes at a time

When teaching the child in the Montessori classroom the Geometric presentation tray, the teacher firstly will show the child how to carry the tray to the work area on a table or floor mat. The teacher will then sits beside the child and remove the shapes individually holding the knob with the pincer grip. She will then place them on the plain wooden spaces above or below working from the left so that there appear to be two squares, two circles and two triangles. The teacher will feel around the frame (with the dominant hand) and insets in an anticlockwise direction and replaces each in the correct place. The matching is carried out by sight and touch.


Objectives when teaching the children the Geometric presentation tray of 2D shapes: 1) To enhance the child’s first experience of the three shapes: circle, square and triangle and later all the other shapes of the geometric cabinet 2) To prepare the child indirectly for later study of geometry by giving the child the visual and muscular experience of shapes 3) To increase the child’s vocabulary 4) To prepare the child indirectly for reading and writing through visual perception exercises and through the muscular experience of some of the letter shapes 4) To develop an awareness of shape in the environment


“The senses being the explorers of the world open the way to knowledge.” - Maria Montessori -







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