Sensorial activities refine information taken in by the senses. These include opportunities to smell, taste, listen, see, or touch materials that were developed by Dr. Montessori. These exercises create classification systems for ordering and build bases for further learning and help to facilitate independence, observation skills, concentration and coordination.
Young children learn about the world around them through the constant use of all their senses to distinguish among the sensorial properties of the environment. The Montessori guide presents activities with materials isolating a particular sensorial property. The sensorial materials and activities are designed to develop the five senses of the children to aid and heighten their senses for learning and isolate quantities such as color, form, texture, size, weight, sound, smell and dimensions. The children match, grade, order, or explore by tasting, smelling, touching, listening, or seeing. Through repeating these exercises at will, the children clarify their impressions and refine their senses. Individual parts of materials are related to the classroom at large and discreet sensorial elements are identified in the environment through games.
The children’s manipulation of the sensorial materials develop essentials skills such as differentiation, independence, judgement, estimations, exactness of perception, and perception of similarities and differences, all of which lay the foundation for future mathematics and cultural work.
With ample opportunity for hands-on learning and freedom of movement throughout the day, the Montessori environment provides a safe, nurturing place for children to develop their senses. Additionally, Montessori developed the sensorial activities to develop and heighten the awareness of the child’s senses. Through repetition, the Montessori child is able to differentiate between the slightest differences and variations in the world around him. The Montessori sensorial exercises isolate one specific sense at a time, maximizing its refinement.
What we'll focus on
Visual Sense: The child learns to perceive differences in size, form, and color.
Montessori materials: The Pink Tower, Brown Prisms, Red Rods, Knobbed and Knobless Cylinders, Geometric Solids and the Geometric Cabinet
Chromatic Sense: The child learns to perceive differences between primary and secondary, as well as the various gradations of each.
Montessori materials: Color tablets
Stereognostic Sense: The child learns through his hands to perceive size and shape of objects.
Materials: Activities are conducted with the eyes closed.
Tactile Sense: The child learns to perceive her world through touch.
Montessori materials: Sandpaper tablets, Fabric swatches
Thermic Sense: The child learns to differentiate temperature by touch.
Montessori materials: Thermic tablets
Baric Sense: The child learns to differentiate the weight of objects.
Montessori materials & activities: Baric tablets, moving child-sized furniture around the room
Auditory Sense: The child learns to differentiate the sounds of her world.
Activities: The Silence Game.
Olfactory Sense: The child learns to differentiate the smells of her world.
Montessori materials: Scent bottles
Gustatory Sense: The child learns to differentiate the tastes of her world.
Activities: Food Preparation, food tasting