Montessori believed that sensorial experiences began at birth. Through the senses, the child studies his environment. Through this study, the child then begins to understand his environment. The child, to Montessori, is a “sensorial explorer”. Montessori sensorial activities are those which refine the five senses – tactile, visual, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory senses. Children are particularly receptive to developing their senses from ages 2-6, and it’s important to give children at those ages as many sensorial experiences as possible.
The sensorial materials are specifically designed to help the child develop discrimination, order, and to broaden and refine the senses. These materials also help prepare him to be a logical, aware, and perceptive person. Visual discrimination of difference in dimension, width, length, and size can be found in materials such as the Pink Tower, Brown Stair, Red Rods, and Knobbed Cylinders. Other activities that enhance visual sense are the Color Tablets, Geometric Cabinet, and the Constructive Triangles. The Touch-Tablets, and Fabric-Feel isolate the tactile sense, while Sound Cylinders and Bells train the auditory sense. The Mystery Bag helps to develop the stereognostic sense (the tactile-muscular sense). The Sensorial materials are designed with a built in feed back to control of error to show when mistakes have been made.
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