Montessori Sensorial Materials are materials used in the Montessori classroom to help a child develop and refine their five senses. Use of these Sensorial Materials constitutes the next level of difficulty after those of Practical Life.
The development of the child at this stage is characterized by a sequence of sensitive periods. The Montessori Sensorial Materials have been designed to respond to these sensitive periods.
Maria Montessori stated, “The secret of preparing one for a particular skill consists in utilizing that period of life between the ages of 3 and 6, when there is a natural inclination to perfect ones senses and movements.”
In terms of adaptation Maria Montessori strived to offer the environment to the child in a very clear, concrete form through the use of “materialized abstractions” as they allowed the child to reorganize his knowledge according to new Practical Life principles and, thus, increase his capacity for learning.
The training of the senses is of utmost importance in the education of the young child. The development of the senses actually precedes that of the higher intellectual faculties. In fact the child’s sensori-motor experiences are the foundation of his intellectual life.