I had fun preparing some Montessori-inspired activities using spheres, cubes, and cylinders along with free printables. The activities can be adapted for a variety of levels.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spielgaben. All opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
The spheres, cubes, and cylinders used in this post are from the complete Spielgaben set. Spielgaben toys are exceptionally high-quality educational toys designed for ages 3-12.
The Spielgaben complete set comes with over 700 pages of full-color printed learning materials. These printed materials help you as a parent or teacher easily use Spielgaben toys educationally with your child and/or students.
Spielgaben Materials Used in This Post
The wooden cube, sphere, and cylinder are from the Spielgaben box 2, which consists of two 2-inch cubes, two 2-inch spheres, and two 2- inch cylinders. Rings are attached to one of the sets, allowing the child to suspend the geometric solids from the crossbeam, crossbar and pillars, which are also included. The resource materials that come with the Spielgaben complete set contain many, many more ways to use box 2 than the examples I’m sharing here.
I’ve also used some spheres, cubes, and cylinders from Spielgaben box 2b (wooden lacing beads).
You can find more activities using spheres and cubes in my earlier posts (see below).
“Gift” Bag of Geometric Solids
I like the way the Montessori-inspired Godly Play program teaches that parables are like gifts. Montessori materials are also special and beautiful like gifts. The Spielgaben educational toys are beautiful, too. So I decided to use a drawstring gift bag I had received to introduce the sphere, cube, and cylinder to my 10-month-old granddaughter, Zoey. Geometric solids wouldn’t normally be introduced to a baby, but I wanted to show ways to include even older babies in a multi-age study of geometric solids. See my posts with yarn balls (below) for ideas using yarn balls (the best Spielgaben baby toy).
My granddaughter loves to open bags, so I simply gave her the bag containing a sphere, cube, and cylinder. Because it’s the correct vocabulary, I say the name of the specific geometric solid when Zoey holds it.
Exploring Sphere, Cube, and Cylinder
3 hooks and string come with Spielgaben box 2 to attach the sphere, cube, and cylinder using the crossbeam, crossbar, and pillars. For safety with a baby, I didn’t use the hooks and just attached the geometric solids by tying the string. I held the support together with one hand, although you could create a more permanent version if you wish. I just let my granddaughter explore the sphere, cube, and cylinder that were suspended. For older children, there are many activities (such as spinning shapes) in the digital materials that come with the Spielgaben set.
Sphere, Cube, Cylinder Song Basket
For this activity, I printed out song cards with the free printable “3D Shapes That We Know” from Kindergarten Works. I placed the cards and 3 Spielgaben solids in a Montessori Services basket (small willow basket, which is a great size for many card materials).
You could have your child match the geometric solids with the cards, and then you could teach the geometric solid songs printed on the cards. (I typically lay activities out on Montessori Services rugs.)
Sphere, Cube, and Cylinder Sorting Tray
For this activity, I used the free printable “3-D Shapes for Kids” from Kidspot to print out a sphere, cube, and cylinder. I placed them on one of the Multicraft 5-piece wooden trays. I would have the child lay out each of the 3 pages and then place the matching shapes on the appropriate page. I used all 6 colors of each shape to make the activity more challenging. For children just learning geometric shapes, I recommend using only one color of bead to follow the Montessori principle of isolation of quality.
You could also have a geometric solid hunt where your child could search for those solids in your house. Or use one of the printables in my Inexpensive and DIY Geometric Solids post to create an activity sorting pictures of items shaped like spheres, cubes, and cylinders.
Making Paper Spheres, Cubes, and Cylinders
This activity is for preschoolers with advanced cutting and assembly skills through school-age children. Glue or tape would need to be added to the tray or kept in a central art-supply area. Here are the links for making the geometric solids on the tray:
Cube and Cylinder: 3D Models from SEN Teacher
Sphere: Paper Model of a Globe from Korthals Altes
For a sphere that’s a globe, see the papercraft globe and moon from Canon.
There’s also a plate tectonics tennis ball globe at USGS.
Note: The globes are very challenging to make. Generally, those would be for school-age children. (They’re great even for tweens and teens.) Preschoolers could make spheres from playdough or another modeling material.
Sphere, Cube, and Cylinder Properties Sorting Tray
This activity uses the free “Simple 3-D Shape Properties Cards” from TES Connect. This is another sorting activity with a reading option for older children.
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All My Spielgaben Posts
Many of these include links to free printables! (Click on an image to go to the related blog post. The gallery is ordered according to publication date with my latest post at the top.)
Version 4 of Spielgaben Educational Toys
I highly recommend Spielgaben as an amazing educational material for home or school. Even though the toys aren’t inexpensive, they’re definitely worth the price because of the high quality of materials and number of years your children or students can use them.
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