Preschool: The Wonders of Sensorial
“Wow, we did it!” exclaimed a proud group of children as they admired their towers made of pink cubes and brown prisms. This was surely an exercise in balance, control and patience. Many of the Preschool children have been particularly drawn to the Sensorial materials since the start of the school year. The purpose of Sensorial work is for the child is to gain clear information and to be able to make classifications in the environment. Through the senses, the child studies her environment and begins to understand it.
The children are shown an initial presentation on each material. For example, a lesson on the pink cubes is given by showing the child how to grade the cubes from largest to smallest. Once the child has practiced this concept, other variations of the work may be presented by the teacher and often discovered by the child on her own. Maria Montessori brilliantly designed many of the Sensorial materials to have a relationship. The pink cubes and the brown prisms share a relationship that children can explore; each pink cube is the same height and width as its corresponding brown prism, they are different only in depth. By combining the two materials together, the child can compare the shapes across all three dimensions and create structures that illustrate the relationships between them.
“The senses, being explorers of our world, open the way to knowledge.”
- Maria Montessori