The Montessori object permanence box (also called a “ball-drop” box) is a quintessential Montessori sensorial material for infants ages 9-12 months. It is simple, engaging and valuable for teaching many skills, including object permanence, hand-eye coordination, palmar grasp, and more.

The Montessori Object Permanence Box


Baby should be facing the box. Present the procedure simply and with as few words as possible.

1. “This is the ball. This is the box.”

2. Quietly and slowly demonstrate how the ball goes into the hole.

3. When the ball rolls out, smile, pick it up, and repeat the action.

4. Invite your child to try for as long as it holds her attention.

5. When she is finished, put the work away on the shelf.

This activity:

Cultivates a sense of object permanence

Fosters focus and concentration

Develops fine motor skills through the whole-hand grasp

Teaches cause-and-effect

Fun fact: Although object permanence is said to develop between 8-10 months, new research suggests it may actually develop between 3.5-5 months. Permanence could be present at birth but can’t easily be tested for or is masked by performance variables.

How to Present the Montessori Object Permanence Box

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