Red Bars


Red bars, Montessori's entry into mathematics with length comparisons

The red bars enable the child to record the differences in length. Word lessons such as short, medium, long can be offered. They are the precursor to the blue/red bars.

The child's job is to put the bars next to each other lengthways, ascending or descending, so that a staircase is created.

Application, advantages, areas of application for this Montessori material:

    • Practicing word lessons with short, long, longer, ..

    • Sort by length

    • Preliminary stage to the numerical bars

    • Montessori material for children from 3 years

    • Recognition of differences in length

Scope of the Montessori sensory material:
10 bars 10 - 100 cm in 10 cm increments, red made of wood

Instructions for the red bars according to Montessori

The red bars are mixed and placed on the carpet. An adult takes the longest, runs his hand over the bar and places it in front of him. Then he takes the next shorter one, runs his hand over it and places it left-justified under the first one.


He continues like this until the shortest rod is reached.

The staircase created by the differences in length is now illustrated by tracing it by hand.

As control of success, the adult takes the shortest pole and attaches it to the next larger one. Both rods together now result in the length of the next one.

After that, the bars are shuffled again and given to the child.

1. A search is done for all rods that together make up the length of the longest rod.

2. The adult chooses a pole and places it in front of him.
Which rods make up the length of this rod?

3. The stairs can be laid blindfolded or closed.


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