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Cylinder Blocks


To develop visual discrimination of height and diameter.


2.5-3 years old.


There are four Cylinder Blocks, each containing ten cylinders with knobs. The cylinders and their corresponding holes vary in diameter and height. 

Block #1 - Decrease in height & diameter.

Block #2 - Decrease in diameter as increase in height

Block #3 - Equal in diameter but decrease in height

Block #4 - Equal in height but decrease in diameter


  • Present Block #1 first because it differs in two dimensions, and is a stable set to use.
  • Introduce the child to the Cylinder Blocks and show him how to carefully place one hand at each end of the Cylinder Block and carry it to a table.
  • Place the Cylinder Block on the table, leaving enough space between the block and the child to lay out all of the cylinders.
  • Using the thumb and two primary fingers remove the cylinders from left to right and place them in a mixed, horizontal order in front of the block.
  • After all of the cylinders have been removed, pick up the cylinder on the left, turn it over and hold it in front of you to observe the size.
  • Scan over the holes in the Cylinder Block. Choose the correct hole and carefully lower the cylinder into it.
  • Continue this procedure with each cylinder working left to right.
  • Run your finger along the top of the block to verify that all the cylinders are flush with the block.
  • After you have completed the presentation, invite the child to repeat it.
  • Explain to the child that he may want to stand up, and peer directly into the holes to try and correctly match each cylinder with its correlating hole.
  • When returning the completed Cylinder Block to the stand, tell the child that he is now free to work with any of the Cylinder Blocks in the same manner.
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