The sensorial materials are hands-on activities that allow the child to explore the world in a concrete way through the various senses. The sensorial materials help develop a child’s hand-eye coordination, fine/large motor skills, spatial awareness, object permanence, and classification skills.
The materials help to refine a child’s senses so that he can better clarify, classify, and define the materials and experiences within his various environments. These sensorial experiences deepen a child’s understanding of his world.
Sensorial exercises include:
• Block manipulatives (pink tower, brown stairs, cylinder blocks) • Gardening
• Color exploration
• Sound exploration
• Sorting exercises
The sensorial curriculum engages a child’s natural tendency to explore the physical world around him through the involvement of all his senses. The sensorial materials
are puzzle-like materials that allow the child to refine the many sensorial impressions that they have experienced.
These impressions are classified and organized in the mind. The goal of the sensorial area is to aid in the refinement of the five senses through manipulation and exploration of concrete materials, so the child will have a better understanding of his world.
Sensorial activities focus on and include:
• Visual sense: visual
discrimination of dimension, form and color through block manipulatives, color tablets, geometric shapes
• Tactile sense: discrimination of texture, temperature and weight through sorting, matching, and measuring activities
• Auditory sense: discrimination of volume and pitch through sound cylinders
• Sense of taste: discrimination of tastes such as sour, sweet, bitter, and salty through food preparation and specific lessons on taste
• Sense of smell: discrimination of smell through natural elements such as herbs, food, and flowers through food preparation, Farmessori visits, and specific lessons on smell
Many of the 0-6 sensorial materials lay a foundation for later work in Geometry, a subset of Mathematics, which is presented at the 6-9, 9-12, and 12-14 levels.