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  • Writer's picturehayley s

The Sensorial Area

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

This area of the classroom, as it's name suggests, contains activities to develop the child's five senses. These are, after all, our way of objectively understanding the world around us, and the means through which we learn.

This area contains mainly materials that Dr. Montessori designed, and I will link some excellent videos on how they are presented to the child at the bottom of this post.

In visual terms, there are activities for children to grade every physical dimension, and precise vocabulary accompanies these (instead of saying 'bigger' for every larger item, learning 'thicker' 'longer' as is appropriate) and shades of colors from lightest to darkest.

There are tactile materials, often used with a blindfold or with eyes closed, for children to match or grade objects by touch, by their texture or temperature, and to learn the appropriate vocabulary (rough, smooth, soft, hard, etc.).

There are materials for matching scents. There are auditory materials such as sound shakers and the lovely Montessori bells for matching and grading sounds, understanding pitch and volume, playing listening games and even creating their own song.

There are many pre-math activities in this area as well, such as the constructive triangle boxes, as well as the binomial and trinomial cubes, which are the physical representations of equations.

Maria Montessori created these materials to isolate and develop one sense at a time, to allow the child the cognitive space to concentrate and focus. From my many years of watching in awe as young children learn and accomplish wonderful things in this area of the classroom, I'm struck with what an antidote it is to the overwhelming, scatterbrained media of all types that children are all to often overloaded with today, which skews their sense of reality and diminishes their attention span immeasurably.

"First the education if the senses, then the education of the intellect."

Dr. Maria Montessori

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