The Montessori Series – Sensorial

By Hayley Swinamer

The sensorial shelf is almost as obviously named as the practical life shelf, and like the practical life shelf, also has many layers of purpose. The works in this area of the classroom are deigned for each of the five senses, which are no less than the primary way children learn.

There are works for grading every physical dimension, and the precise vocabulary to go with it. Children will often say “It’s the biggest!” regardless of which dimension they mean, but is the more accurate term the longest? The thickest? The color boxes not only match colors but grades shades of colors from lightest to darkest. The touch tablets and other tactile materials allow to child to match by textures and learn accurate vocabulary for those as well such as smooth, soft, hard, rough and so on. There are scent bottles to match by smell, and thermal bottles to match by temperature. There are auditory works such as matching different sound shakers with no visual cues, and the lovely Montessori Bells for grading sounds from lowest to highest, or even for creating one’s own song!
There are geometric, pre-math activities so to speak, such as the constructive triangle boxes, and the Binomial and Trinomial cubes, which are the physical representations of the equations (a + b) cubed and (a + b + c) cubed respectively.

I’ve linked three short videos below that show presentations of some of these materials.

A completely wonderful video of children using this area of the classroom with narration by teacher
The Sensorial Area

The Large Hexagonal Box
Hexagonal box

The Binomial Cube
Binomial cube