Sensorial Activities

Montessori believed that sensorial experiences began at birth. Through the senses, the child studies his environment. Through this study, the child then begins to understand his environment. The child, to Montessori, is a “sensorial explorer”. These materials are specifically designed to help children develop skills for discrimination and order and to broaden and refine the senses. The sensorial area in a Montessori classroom focuses on lessons and activities that help develop the five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling.

The sensorial materials are designed with built-in feedback to control errors aimed to show when a mistake has been made. Children are encouraged to be independent of oversight which develops their self-confidence and incentive to practice and improve. A child’s sense perceptions will become structured and capable of comprehending abstract concepts through experiencing sensorial lessons. The sensorial area is divided into six categories: size, form, color, tactile, gustatory, olfactory, and auditory.


Lessons within the size category help develop the child’s discrimination of differences in size and weight. These lessons prepare the children for mathematics – counting numbers, composing numbers, and measuring quantity. By working from left to right and up and down, the children prepare for reading and writing. Finally, the children develop coordination, concentration, order and most importantly independence. Some of the materials in this category are

  • Cylinder Blocks
  • Pink Tower
  • Brown Stairs
  • Red Rods
  • Coloured Cylinders

Geometric lessons help develop the child’s visual discrimination in shape and form. Additionally, a child develops the ability to observe progression from concrete to more abstract forms, all while the child learns the various figures. Indirectly, these lessons prepare the child for writing.

  • Geometric Solids
  • Binomial Cube
  • Trinomial Cube
  • Constructive Triangles:
    • Blue Triangle Box
    • Rectangle Box
    • Triangle Box
    • Large Hexagon Box
    • Small Hexagon Box

Developing the chromatic senses allows a child to learn perceived differences between primary and secondary, as well as the various gradations of each. The color lessons also aim to develop a child’s ability to recognize similarities and differences in colors and order.

  • Primary Colours Box
  • Primary Colours Box 2
  • Colour Gradation Colour Box 3

Through tactile lessons, a child learns to perceive the world through touch, developing the ability to discriminate between coarse and fine.

  • Mystery Bag
  • Matching Mystery Bag
  • Rough and Smooth Touch Boards
  • Rough and Smooth Touch Tablets
  • Fabric Box
  • Baric Tablets
  • Thermic Bottles
  • Thermic Tablets
Gustatory & Olfactory:
  • Tasting Bottles
  • Smelling Bottles

Lessons that develop gustatory and olfactory senses allow a child to explore their world through smells and tastes.

Most of the lessons found in the Sensorial area of the Montessori classroom can be reinforced through “exploration” at home with your child. For example, when going for a walk, ask your child what the different shapes and colours he/she sees around him/her. Are the objects they are looking at big or small; rough or smooth; good- or bad-smelling; thick or thin; or tall or short? These Sensorial lessons help prepare the child to become a logical, aware, and perceptive individual.