Sensorial toys are used to develop and refine a child’s five senses. Maria Montessori believed that the child learns (and comes to understand) his or her environment through their senses. As such, it is important for children to refine their senses, because this is how they understand their very world and take in information. Sensorial toys are also designed to allow a child to discriminate among the different senses so that they learn to become logical and perceptive people. Montessori called children “sensorial explorers.”
It is also important to keep in mind that sensorial toys and exercises cover every quality that can be experienced through the senses, from size to texture, loudness to temperature, and everything in-between.
When to Use Sensorial Toys
Children begin developing their senses between the ages of three and six. As such, sensorial toys can be used up until age six or so. However, this is only a general guideline not meant to be a hard and fast rule.
How to Use Sensorial Toys
Just like other Montessori teaching materials and toys, sensorial toys are built to have a control of error, so that the child checks his or her work, instead of asking the teacher for help. This develops their independence and confidence.
There are a great number of sensorial toys out there; a popular one is the Pink Tower. The Pink Tower, which includes a variety of pink coloured cubes that come in different dimensions, develops children’s visual sense and, in particular, their sense of dimension. The child uses the Pink Tower to build a tower, beginning with the largest cube on the bottom all the way to the smallest cube on the top. The Brown Stair is another classic Montessori teaching material that is similar to the Pink Tower.
Touch Tablets are another popular sensorial toy. Tablets are covered with different textures of sandpaper with varying degrees of roughness. Children have to match pairs of tablets with similar textures. In doing so, they develop their tactile sense. Sound cylinders develop children’s auditory senses. There are two sets, and children have to match the two same-sounding cylinders with each other.
Thinkamajigs offers high-quality, value-priced Montessori teaching materials, educational toys, games, and puzzles, all of which you can view in our catalogue here. We ship our Montessori teaching materials anywhere in North America. Contact us for more information.