Nov 202012

Montessori Trinomial Cube


The trinomial cube is a wooden box with a cover and two adjacent hinged sides, containing 27 wooden blocks that fit together to form a cube with the same pattern on each side and in the middle. The cube has a visual representation of the algebraic formula (a+b+ c) (a+b+c) (a+b+c) or:

(a+b+c)x 3

control charts


To help develop the child’s visual perception of three-dimensional patterns.

To prepare the child for later work in Maths, especially algebra.

To aid the child’s fine motor.

Eye- hand co-ordination.


To prepare the child for writing.


The control charts

The child feels that all the blocks have the same dimension.

The colours of the cubes.

AGE: 5 – 6 years approx.
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  • Once the cubes are all back, fold up the sides of the box and draw attention to the fact that the pattern of the cubes inside the box resembles the pattern on the lid.
  • Invite the child to have a turn.
  • Extension 1

    1. The child can build the Trinomial cube in exactly the same way but outside the box without the control charts.

    Extension 2

    1. One day, after the cube is built outside the box, show the child that all the cube’s faces have the same pattern on them. Turn the cube around to show the child that the back faces are the same too. Place both hands around the cube and lift it, to show the child that the bottom also has the same pattern on it.
    2. Show the child that the 12 inside faces have the same pattern. You will be able to do this by splitting the cube three ways, horizontally, vertically, and back to front. This will expose each face with each split.

    Extension 3

    1. Show the child how you can match all the faces of the cubes together. Build a horizontal line on the mat from left to right, matching all the same sized blue faces.
    2. Do the same with the red, black and yellow faces
    3. Invite the child to have a turn.

    Extension 4

    1. The child can independently build the three separate layers of the Trinomial Cube and put them together to make the complete cube, although the child should put them together piece by piece, rather than trying to lift each layer in its entirety.

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