The pink tower is a beautiful Montessori material that isolates the quality of size, and prepares children for many mathematical concepts. No Montessori preschool classroom would be complete without it, but I decided that it wasn't necessary for our home environment - yet! I ended up purchasing the rainbow stacking boxes because they seemed to offer more opportunities for exploration and play. While they aren't as precise as the cubes of the pink tower, they can offer a similar experience. Both materials support the development of visual discrimination, and can be used for matching and language activities. In addition, the rainbow stacking boxes can be nested together, and can hold or hide small objects. As E begins to play more imaginatively, the boxes may become houses, nests, or caves. Call me crazy, but these boxes are lovely enough, I can even imagine them holding pencils in E's college dorm room one day! ;)
Although we love our rainbow nesting boxes, I haven't completely ruled out the idea of buying a pink tower, too. We'll just have to see where this Montessori homeschooling adventure takes us...