Sensorial Extensions with the Colored Cylinders, Montessori RD

  • Sensorial, 3-6
Sensorial Extensions with Knobless Cylinders
(Cylinders not included)
  • The Colored Cylinders, also known as Knobless Cylinders, were part of my first Montessori materials order in 2014. I was fascinated by the ingenuity of the material, as well as its simplicity.
  • Today, I am excited to share Montessori Research and Development’s brilliant innovative curriculum that provides a logical guidance to enhance the child’s experience while using the Colored Cylinders.
  • The curriculum Sensorial Extensions with the Colored Cylinders offers a series of activity cards that can be sequentially presented to children age 3 and up. These practice materials are informed by science-based observations and recommendations made by professionals such as Edward Séguin, Jean Piaget, and Maria Montessori.


  • Diameter & Height Matching Cards
  • Diameter & Height Matching Cards Matrix (2×2)
  • Complete the Matrix (3×3)
  • Find a Pattern Matrix
  • Make this Pattern Cards
  • Cylinders Pattern Cards
  • Cylinder Diameter Cards
  • A complete manual

In addition, you will need a set of Colored Cylinders. Some activity cards can be used with Knobbed Cylinders.

The presentations for the sequence below can be found in the manual included in the set.

Step 1: Colored Cylinders “Diameter” Matching Cards

  • The Colored Cylinders Diameter cards bring awareness of the diameter attribute. The child must be presented and guided through the first use of the material. As mentioned in the included manual, children learn through exploration. Exploration is conducted through imitation of pattern completion, which leads to initiation later on. To make it simple, a child observes how cylinders are logically organized. They integrate the system in place by repeating the pattern, and finally create their own patterns.
  • There are 2 different presentations for this activity, which are guided by the 2 charts for this activity.
Colored Cylinders “Diameter” Matching Cards

Step 2: Colored Cylinders “Height” Matching Cards

  • The Colored Cylinders Height cards bring awareness of the height attribute. The child will use wrist movements when grading the cylinders, which is excellent for hand writing development.
  • There are 2 different presentations for this activity.
Colored Cylinders “Height” Matching Cards

Step 3: Colored Cylinders “Diameter and Height” Matching Cards, Stereognostic Work

  • The Colored Cylinders Diameter and Height Matching Cards activity contains 4 charts. Therefore, there are 4 presentations where children are invited to select the appropriate cylinder to match on the cards.
  • The child is invited to select a box of cylinders that would fit on the first card. The child matches the cylinders as needed until completion. There are 9 cards to go through. A mystery bag can be used as a variation, which heightens the senses and interest.
Colored Cylinders “Diameter and Height” Matching Cards

Step 4: Colored Cylinders “Diameter” Matching Cards, Stereognostic Work

  • This time, the child can practice on 9 cards focused on height. This activity can also involve the use of a mystery bag as a variation. A child will use his stereognostic sense (tactile) to select the appropriate cylinders for each card.
  • There are 2 presentations, and 4 variations to this work, the mystery bag being one of them.
Colored Cylinders “Diameter” Matching Cards

Step 5: Colored Cylinders Color and Height – 3×3 Matrix

  • This activity is the same as the above, but using Diameter/Color.
Colored Cylinders Color and Height – 3×3 Matrix

Step 6: Colored Cylinders “Color and Diameter” Matrix Cards

  • The Colored Cylinders Color and Diameter cards combine two attributes that will have the child select cylinders from multiple colors. The child is required to work methodically by selecting cylinders by color first, then by diameter. There are 10 cards for this activity. The child can be invited to create his own matrix by tracing with cylinders, and selecting the colors of his choice.
Find a Pattern Matrix
The Set Includes a make-your-own-pattern Card

Step 7: “Find a Pattern” Cards

  • Find a Pattern Cards is a straightforward activity. It is comprised of 10 matrix cards where the child places the appropriate cylinders. Pattern work is excellent at enhancing spacial intelligence, visualizing shapes in one’s mind.
Find a Pattern Cards
Make-your-own Matrix Card

Step 8: “Who I am?” Cards

  • “Who I am?” cards are such an appealing work for children. They learn the universal symbol for NO (Diagonally crossed out circle). This activity contains 45 cards, among them 10 for each colored cylinders set. The child receives 3 presentations from simple to more complex guessing activities.
Universal Symbols for “No” Cards
  • The child gets a first hint by looking at the diameter. Next, she may select a cylinder based on the information on the card. The cards contain the “NO” symbol to provide more clues (no red or blue, not this height…). This work monopolizes excecutive functioning by requiring the child to critically think of the criteria to include or to avoid.
Not Green, Not Yellow, this height!

Step 9: “Make This Pattern” Cards

  • This final work, “Make this pattern,” allows a child to experience coding and deciding through patterning. The child is introduced a chart, which contains a labeling for each cylinder. Ex: R10 is the Red 10th cylinder.
Left Bottom is a Numbered Chart to Aid the Child through the Activity
  • The cards offer interesting patterns that will catch the child’s attention by increasing in size while using different colors for instance. Children are said to construct themselves through the experience they acquire from their environment, and this experience will be transferrable to new contexts.
Using the Numbered Chart, the Child Builds Patterns
  • In conclusion, the curriculum Sensorial Extensions with Colored Cylinders unlocks the Colored Cylinders full potential and truly offers an incremental approach to this traditional material. Its ingenuity will guarantee the longevity of the material, with constant renewed interest and discoveries.
Manual with Complete Guidelines Included

This introductionary descriptive post has been made possible, thanks to Montessori Research and Development that provided the material at no cost. I thrive to provide unbiased reviews by working with companies and materials I trust. I hope my work benefits many little learners. Please let comments and questions, I will be happy to talk with you.

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