Sensorial activities in the Montessori curriculum are those activities which stimulate and refine the aesthetic, tactile, auditory, taste and olfactory senses for further development in perceiving dimensions, besides preparing the child for language and mathematics. Children use specifically designed apparatus to do these activities.
The special characteristics of sensorial materials are:
- They are designed to isolate one particular quality to enable the child to focus on it.
- They are aesthetically pleasing and self-corrective,
- There is only one of each kind in a Montessori environment. This establishes a sense of order and also encourages patience in the child’s mind.
These activities cover every quality of the five senses of the child such as texture, size, weight, temperature, sound, smell. These materials, therefore come under eight groups: Visual, Tactile, Baric, Auditory, Olfactory, Thermic, Gustatory and Stereognostic.
Sensorial activities not only refine the senses of the child but are also an indirect introduction to Geometry and Arithmetic; the different aspects of language and writing.
Dr. Montessori has rightly described the Sensorial materials as a “Key to the Universe”.