What Is the Order of Sensorial Materials

The Montessori sensorial lesson sequence follows a specific order that allows children to explore and develop their senses in a methodical and progressive manner. The first category in this sequence is the visual sensorial materials, which include activities such as the Broad Stair. These materials are designed to help children develop their visual discrimination skills and understand concepts such as size, length, and width. The next category is the auditory sensorial materials, which include activities like the Sound Cylinders. These materials aim to develop children's ability to discriminate and distinguish between different sounds. The third category is the haptic sensorial materials, which focus on the sense of touch and include activities like the Rough & Smooth Boards and Thermic Bottles. The fourth category is the olfactory and gustatory sensorial materials, which involve activities like the Smelling Bottles and Tasting Bottles. These materials provide opportunities for children to explore and identify different smells and tastes. The fifth category is the stereognostic sensorial materials, which involve activities like the Mystery Bag. These materials help children refine their sense of touch and develop their ability to recognize and identify objects through touch alone. Lastly, the visual (geometry) sensorial materials, such as the Triangle Box, aim to develop children's understanding of geometric shapes and concepts.

What Is the Purpose of Sensorial Materials in Montessori?

Sensorial materials in Montessori education serve a crucial purpose in the development of children. These materials are designed to help children refine their senses and perceive the world around them in a more precise and meaningful way. By engaging with sensorial materials, children are provided with opportunities to explore and understand the qualities of various objects and concepts.

One of the main objectives of using sensorial materials is to assist children in developing their pitch, temperature, and weight discrimination abilities. Through the use of materials such as sound cylinders, thermic bottles, and baric tablets, children are able to distinguish and categorize different sensory qualities. This helps them develop a greater awareness and control of their senses, which is essential for their overall growth and learning.

Another important purpose of sensorial materials is to promote the use of language in describing sensory experiences. By engaging children in activities that involve identifying and describing qualities like smoothness, roughness, loudness, and softness, they learn to associate words with sensory experiences. This language development not only enhances their communication skills but also lays the foundation for future writing and reading abilities.

Moreover, sensorial materials are designed to foster the development of the “mathematical mind” in children. When exploring materials like the pink tower, knobbed cylinders, and geometric solids, children are exposed to concepts such as size, shape, and dimension. They learn to compare and order objects in a logical sequence, develop spatial intelligence, and acquire a solid foundation for mathematical concepts like geometry and measurement.

Additionally, the use of sensorial materials indirectly prepares children for writing. By manipulating materials and engaging in activities that require precise hand-eye coordination, children strengthen their fine motor skills. These skills are crucial in developing the necessary dexterity and control needed for writing and other creative tasks.

They aid in refining sensory perception, promote language development, and facilitate the development of mathematical thinking.

The Specific Sensorial Materials Used in Montessori Education and Their Purpose (e.g. Pink Tower, Knobbed Cylinders, Geometric Solids, Etc.)

Montessori education emphasizes the use of specific sensorial materials to enhance a child’s learning experience. These materials include items such as the pink tower, knobbed cylinders, and geometric solids. The pink tower, for example, consists of graduated blocks that allow children to explore size, dimension, and visual discrimination. Knobbed cylinders help children develop coordination and refine their fine motor skills as they fit cylinders into corresponding holes. Geometric solids encourage children to explore shapes and develop an understanding of spatial concepts. Overall, these sensorial materials foster sensory perception, concentration, and intellectual development in Montessori classrooms.


The lesson sequence typically begins with visual materials such as the Broad Stair, which helps children understand size relationships and mathematical concepts. It then moves on to auditory materials like the Sound Cylinders, allowing children to discriminate between different sounds. Haptic materials such as the Rough & Smooth Boards and Thermic Bottles come next, facilitating the development of touch and temperature perception. The olfactory and gustatory materials, including Smelling Bottles and Tasting Bottles, engage the senses of smell and taste. Further along the sequence, children work with stereognostic materials like the Mystery Bag, which encourage them to rely solely on touch to identify objects. This carefully planned and ordered sequence of sensorial materials provides children with a holistic and comprehensive sensory experience, allowing them to develop a deep understanding and connection with the world around them.

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