Montessori Sensorial Curriculum
The Sensorial Curriculum is a special and unique principle of the Montessori method. It involves a progression through a specially designed set of wooden materials designed by Dr. Montessori herself. The materials aim to train and refine the child’s senses. They are introduced in a specified sequence to target specific senses and develop a set of skills and awareness.
According to Dr. Montessori, the education of the senses must start during the formative period, which covers the first five years of a child’s life. This is when a child absorbs the most impressions from their environment. Experts agree that the formative period is the best window of opportunity to teach the child critical skills that can serve as a foundation for many types of life skills.
The education of the senses, Dr. Montessori believed, should start from infancy. It should be methodical and continue throughout a child’s years of education. This will prepare the child for life within their community.
With these observations in mind, the Montessori method utilizes sensorial materials that can help facilitate learning in children.
Exercises provide children with opportunities to explore using their senses. This helps children develop keener eyes for spotting minute details and discern contrasts.
Each of the materials used for sensorial teaching is designed to isolate a specific defining quality such as weight, texture, shape, color, smell, size and sound.
The exercises should help the child develop basic problem-solving skills, sharpen their sense of perception, and begin abstract learning. They also help develop the child’s awareness of the different qualities and characteristics of objects using the different senses. This includes sorting exercises, use of knob-less cylinders, knobbed cylinders, color tablets, brown star, and pink tower.
Dr. Montessori’s Sensorial Curriculum was presented long before the concept of “sensory play” was ever developed. She had the groundbreaking idea of training the sensory system of a child at a young age to integrate information systematically.
Scientists nowadays have recognized Dr. Montessori’s Sensorial Curriculum as a basis for the development of the so-called mind palace, a technique that greatly helps in improving memory.
The Sensorial Curriculum in Montessori is not just for enhancing memory though. It is a foundation for everything a child learns in this environment.Sensory play provides children with activities that stimulate all their senses and does not follow any specific order, as long as the materials and the activities all promote sensory stimulation. Each activity follows a controlled and orderly guideline and access to the materials depends entirely on the child’s interest at the time