How to Use the Montessori Knobless Cylinders

What is the Montessori Knobless Cylinder?

Montessori Knobless Cylinders, also known as the Knobless Cylinder Blocks, consist of a series of wooden cylinders varying in height and diameter. What distinguishes them from the knobbed cylinders is the absence of knobs on top.

This helps the child to discover the relationships between the four series of cylinders through observation and comparisons. This also helps clarify ideas about dimensions and their interconnections.


  • watch this VIDEO to learn how to present this lesson.
  • Start with grading the cylinder blocks.
  • Scatter and work with two sets of cylinders (yellow & green), grading one set in front of another — comparing and contrasting the cylinders.
    • Ask, “How are they alike? How are they different?
  • Invite the child to superimpose two sets and observe the cylinders.

Extension Activities

  1. Work with 2 other sets together, aside from yellow and green.
  2. Work with 3 sets together
  3. Work with all 4 sets together
  4. Building towers with each set, starting with the yellow set
  5. Stereognostic game (using a blindfold to grade and/or build towers)
  6. Matching with the knobless cylinder pattern cards

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