Montessori Colour Tablets
Maria Montessori designed the colour tablets to help develop children’s perception of colours, including differences in hues and intensities. The colour tablets are small rectangular plastic tablets, in vivid colours with white plastic edge-guards. They introduce the colour spectrum, as well as concepts of dark/light colours. The ability to tell the subtle difference in colours can help children translate this skill into more mature grasp of comparison, visual discrimination, and patterning, which helps with Math and language development.
For us who are coffee addicts, we were more than delighted to receive this Nespresso Tray from my sister-in-law! It is filled with an assortment of coffee flavours, and the colourful choices of capsules caused me to brew up some great ideas for learning about colours with my little princess!
1. Learning Dark/Light Colours
Given my girl can name different colours, I knew the next step will be for her to differentiate hues and intensity within the same colour. To let her explore the concept of dark and light shades of different colours, I first pointed her to dark and light shades found in our home environment. I showed her crayons that have dark and light blue, shopping bags with light and dark pink designs, pepper containers with light and dark grey, and so on. After creating an awareness for the concepts of light and dark colours, I then presented her the Nespresso Tray and selected coffee capsules that illustrate the contrast. I started pairing the capsules by saying “dark red and Light red”, and then placing them side by side in the tray. After demonstrating a few sets of colours, my girl grasped the idea and started making her own selection of capsule to match the colour. Very quickly, she repeated the whole process of paring the light and dark colours, effortlessly, and with lots of anticipation!
2. Creating Shapes!
Next comes a surprise for me! After mastering the rules for the activity, my little girl decided to be ingenious and started placing capsules randomly in different compartments, or so I thought! Until I realised to my amazement, she was creating outlines of shapes in the tray! She created first a square, then a rectangle, and lastly a triangle! The joy of watching her at work with her imagination was simply bewildering!
3. Sequencing colours
The next activity that we wandered into was to sequence the colours of the capsules according to the colour chart on the tray! I illustrated the order of the colours in a clockwise direction, by choosing the first few and placing them on the tray. When I pointed to the next colour on the chart, she carefully scrutinized the capsules and eventually after a few attempts, found the colour closely resembling the one we were looking for. Again, this exploratory activity allows her to practice her visual acuity and colour discrimination. It is no easy feat for a 3 year old, given the array of colours available!