The direct aim of the Pink Tower is said to be:
To help the child’s visual discrimination of differences in three dimensions. To help develop the child’s fine muscular coordination.
While the indirect aims are:
To prepare the child for later work in geometry through the general observation of the geometrically regular differences in the size of the cubes’ edges, faces, and total volumes…to prepare the child for the concept of numbers, in demonstrating the unit difference in distance between the edges of the ten successively larger cubes.
(credit to: http://montessorimischief.com/ for these aims)
The smallest block is 1cm cubed and the largest is exactly 10cm cubed. Basically what is happening is that while the youngest children is sorting and ordering and working on their gross and fine motor skills, they are also internalizing the power of threes in increments and working on spacial geography (some commentators even throw algebra in there).
Sometimes, when I dig deep into the materials, it blows my mind.
If you have a Kindergartner, ask them about the “pink blocks” – have they worked with them? How tall was the tower they could stack? How small was the tiniest block? The blocks are in our Kindergarten classroom. For an idea of the way they may be used, please see this lesson: http://carrotsareorange.com/montessori-pink-tower-2/