Texture tablets, smelling bottles, and sound cylinders, are all part of Montessori’s sensorial materials. In addition, the knobless cylinders, red rods, and the famous pink tower are also important materials in this area. It seems like most Montessori materials for the youngest children are sensorial in nature.
So, why was Montessori so concerned with helping children develop their senses? Here’s what she had to say:
“It is necessary to begin the education of the senses in the formative period if we wish to perfect this sense of development with the education which is to follow. The education of the senses should be begun methodically in infancy, and should continue during the entire period of instruction which is to prepare the individual for life in society.”
Basically, she believed that babies and young children have a natural instinct to learn through the senses. Babies put things in their mouths to discover texture and taste. Young children might smell and touch items as ways of exploring. By actively developing their senses and perfecting their observation skills, Montessori believed children would be able to learn many other things.
But, you don’t have to use only the classic Montessori materials to enjoy sensory experiences with your child. Here are 5 Montessori-inspired sensory activities to try:
I try to take Yannis on a nature walk a few times a week. We take it slow and enjoy looking at all the wildlife around us. Sometimes we find bugs or butterflies. On these walks, Yannis gets to practice being observant and pointing out what he notices. He also feels different textures when he touches l, leaves, sticks, and rocks that he finds. We also listen to birds and other sounds as we walk. For Family friendly Hiking Trails inspiration, We use All Trails.com and Hikeitbaby
Montessori sensory activities: Trips to the Beach
A trip to the beach (or a sandbox in your back yard) is a great sensorial experience. The feel of the sand and water, the sound of the waves and the caw of the seagulls are just a few of the sensorial experiences available at the beach.
When Yannis and I garden in the back yard, he gets to smell the aromas of the different herbs. He also feels the leaves of weeds, dirt under his feet and many sights and sounds.
If the weather’s nice set a big tub of water outside with a few different containers such as funnels, sieves, cups, and spoons, and let your little one enjoy playing! This activity is also great in the tub if the weather isn’t nice enough to be outdoors.
A mix between practical life and sensorial, allowing your child to use a butter knife to cut up bananas, strawberries or other soft fruits is an amazing experience. The sweet tastes, different textures, and smells make it an activity that involves several senses.
Ready to stimulate your child’s senses? These experiences will prime your child’s senses and prepare them for their education as they grow.
What’s your favorite sensory activity to enjoy with your little one?
Also Read: A Day in Our Life: Montessori Inspired