Wednesday, November 6, 2013

pink tower vs. rainbow stacking boxes

As soon as Elise started to show an interest in stacking blocks, I began to debate which of these two materials to buy for our home.  Some may say this is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but here we go...  

the stats:

the verdict:

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...


  1. Oh I love this, thank you! I was about to order a pink tower but now I think I might opt for something like you've shown - you're right, the opportunities for play are far greater. Wonderful!

  2. This is a great comparison. I have had a similar debate for my home :)

  3. Thank you for doing all the work for me! I think the pink tower belongs to a classroom (be it outside the home or part of a homeschool program!). Have you bought it yet? Do you know if it is available anywhere else?

    1. Deb, I bought our rainbow stacking boxes at a local toy store - Walking Stick Toys - but I know there are many online shops that carry Grimm's products. Everything they make is so beautiful - I want to buy it all, but it is pricey! I lucked out with the boxes - they were discounted because of damaged packaging and I had a 25% off coupon! :) Hope you and your girls are doing well!

  4. I agree. I think at this age exploration is more important. Leave the pink tower for the primary level. We went for the cheap and cheerful Melissa and Doug cardboard nesting boxes.

  5. Hi Anne! First of all I didn't realise you were going to homeschool, that's great! We will too. In our home we have opted for both cardboard stacking boxes and pink tower. At 22 months Finn can build the pink tower (with a bit of help) but not the stacking boxes, because they have to be placed with the opening down, because they are too light, and because he gets distracted by the pictures! He loves the pink tower though, and that reminds me I should write a blog post about it. He is in love with the smallest cube and loves walking round and round around the tower singing a made up song when he is finished. We bought ours second hand and will be able to sell it for about the same price when Finn is done with it, so it's not a big investment. We are thinking about the broad stair now to extend the learning and fun!


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