Learning with the Senses

In Montessori classrooms you will often hear about sensorial materials. From birth children are using their senses – sight, sound, taste, smell and touch – to take in and learn about their environment. Sensorial materials are special, scientifically developed materials to help young children as they create and organize their brainpower through their senses.

Each material focuses on a quality found in the world (ex. color, size, shape, texture), and through repeated use of these materials children form clear ideas or “abstractions” of what they represent. This also sharpens the child’s senses as s/he develops.

For example, concepts like geometry that can be difficult to grasp when taught on paper are better understood through three-dimensional shapes that children can hold and see. This gives them a solid foundation to build upon and classify information as they progress to learn about language, math and science.

Here are some examples of common sensorial materials used in Montessori classrooms:

  • Binomial Cube
  • Box of Fabric
  • Broad Stair
  • Color Tablets
  • Colored Cylinders
  • Constructive Triangles
  • Cylinder Blocks
  • Geometric Cabinet
  • Geometric Solids
  • Pink Tower
  • Red Rods
  • Rough & Smooth Boards
  • Sound Boxes
  • Trinomial Cube

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