For today’s post for Eat:Play:Learn we share a post from Rhythm of The Home contributor, Hannah.
How to Make Montessori Baric Tablets
Montessori sensorial materials are designed to isolate a specific sense, and sharpen that sense through focused and controlled work. By refining the senses, a child becomes able to effectively analyze, judge, and differentiate between subtle differences in impression they receive through their senses. This is paramount to success in all spheres of learning.
Made of natural materials, with good design and simple construction, Montessori sensorial materials are just wonderful to make. Many of the materials are very simple to create with few tools and are rather inexpensive.
The Baric Tablets are used to refine the child’s ability to differentiate between subtle variances in weight leading to deductive and inductive reasoning. Tablet sets are made up of 3”x 4” x ¼” pieces of different woods, each varying in weight by approximately 5 grams, and also having a slightly different color. Color variance acts as the control of error for the child.
For simplicity I have included instructions on which woods to use, dimensions, availability, etc. This is in not the only way to make these tablets…scrap wood will work as long as dimensions match and weight varies by approximately 5 grams.
• ¼” x 2 ½” x 2′ boards of poplar, oak, and aspen – (these are available in Lowe’s in the molding department, they are sold as craft boards in our store, ~$7 for three boards)
• Saw – really anything that will cut nicely for you. I used a band saw, but a hand saw, jig saw, table saw, chop saw, etc will all work. It’s your weapon of choice on this one!
1. Measure your boards into six pieces.
2. Cut your boards carefully.
3. Sand lightly.
4. Find an appropriate container. Drawstring bags, small bread pans, a wooden tray, etc.
5. Introduce to your child and enjoy!
It is always a good idea to have your child wash their hands before any tactile activity.
Use the lightest and heaviest set of tablets first. Sit facing your child at the table or on a mat. Have the child hold his or her hands off the table or floor, palms up, fingers bent and finger tips spread out.
1. Balance one tablet from the heaviest and the lightest on your child’s finger tips.
2. Ask which tablet is the heaviest.
3. Show how to put the heaviest in one pile and the lightest one in another pile.
4. Repeat until your child understands the concept.
5. Do the activity with eyes shut, or with a blindfold or hat pulled over their eyes.
1. The child mixes the heaviest and lightest sets and does the exercise while blindfolded.
2. Place the tablets on his finger tips – one on each hand.
3. The child tells you which one is heavy and which one is light.
4. When the child has mastered the lightest and heaviest pairs go on to the lighter and medium tablets – then heavier and medium tablets.
5. Finally, use all three sets – heavy – medium – light
6. Mix all three sets and sort into three piles according to weight.
Hannah Robinson is the mother of two very spirited children, and the wife of a very sensible man, living a very simple life in Western NY. She has a degree in art education and uses it daily as the artist in residence, creativity advocate, and personal tutor for her kidlings. She is the author of the popular blog A Handmade Childhood where she chronicles the adventures of a family life centered on the quest for homemade, creative, tied-to-the earth goodness.