Introduction of Montessori Sensorial Materials and Activities by Age

Whether you are gearing up to send your child to a Montessori primary program, you are planning on Montessori homeschooling, or you are just curious about how Montessori works, you may be curious about Montessori sensorial materials.

In this article you will learn about what sensorial materials are used in the primary (2.5-6) age group and the introduction of Montessori materials by age.

Characteristics of Montessori sensorial materials

Throughout Montessori curriculum, there is a heavy emphasis on learning through the senses. Sensorial materials are designed to refine each sense, which heightens a child’s learning throughout all areas of Montessori.

montessori sensorial materials by age pin.

Here are some characteristics of Montessori sensorial materials. You will notice most of these characteristics in many other Montessori materials.

  • isolated properties
  • control of error
  • aesthetically pleasing
  • universal properties
  • simple to complex
  • provide concrete representations of abstract concepts

Introduction of Montessori sensorial materials by age

Below is a list of Montessori sensorial materials and activities, a brief description, along with the recommended age of introduction.

Sensorial materials and activities

Montessori sensorial materials and activities are designed to refine a child’s senses. Since all Montessori activities involve a sensorial aspect, this refinement is important.

Each Montessori sensorial activity has a specific presentation, a 3-period lesson, and activity extensions.

Cylinder Blocks

  • 2.5-3.5 years old
  • These are also referred to as Knobbed Cylinders. A set of 4 blocks that house 10 cylinders each, varying in height and diameter.

Purchase full size Cylinder Blocks here.

Child working with Knobbed Cylinders, with built in control of error.
4 year old demonstrating the Knobbed Cylinders.

Pink Tower

  • 2.5-3 years old
  • The Montessori Pink Tower is a set of 10 wooden cubes that increase in dimension by even increments.

Purchase Pink Tower here.

Brown Stair

  • 3-3.5 years old
  • The Brown Stair (Broad Stair) is a set of 10 square prisms that increase in even increments.

Purchase Brown Stair here.

Long Red Rods

  • 3-3.5 years old
  • The Long Red Rods is a set of 10 wooden rods that increase in size by even increments.

Purchase Long Red Rods here.

Knobless Cylinders

  • 3.5 years old
  • These colored cylinders are a set of 4 boxes, consisting of 10 cylinders each. The cylinders in each box vary in diameter and/or height.

Purchase Knobless Cylinders here.

Montessori Red Rods.
Long Red Rods

Color Tablets

  • 3-4 years old
  • The Color Tablets are 3 boxes of colored wooden tablets. Boxes 1 and 2 are for matching and Box 3 is a grading activity.

Purchase 3 boxes of Color Tablets here.

Geometric Cabinet- Demonstration Tray

  • 3.5 years old
  • The Demonstration Tray is designed to prepare children for Geometric Cabinet work. The purpose of this activity is to introduce children to the names and characteristics of the shapes they will be working with.

Purchase Demonstration Tray here.

Geometric Cabinet

  • 3.5 years old
  • The Geometric Cabinet consists of 6 frames that with fitted metal insets. Each frame has a group of shapes or a single shape of different sizes.

Geometric Form Cards

  • 4 years old
  • The Geometric Form Cards consist of 3 sets of shape image cards. These are designed to present shapes in an increasingly abstract fashion.

Botany Cabinet

  • 3.5 years old
  • The Botany Cabinet is a set of 4 frames of leaf shape insets. A wooden stick is typically introduced with this material for tracing the insets.
montessori color tablets.
Color Tablets Box 3

Constructive Triangles

  • 4-4.5 years old
  • The Constructive Triangles set is an extensive material, comprised of 5 boxes of triangles. With this Montessori material children construct various geometric shapes using triangles.

Binomial Cube

  • 4 years old
  • The Binomial Cube is a 2 layered cube made up from a series of small wooden blocks. The purpose of this material is to help develop visual discrimination of pattern, color, and shape.

Trinomial Cube

  • 4.5 years old
  • The Trinomial Cube is a 3 layer cube made up from a series of small wooden blocks. The purpose of this material is to help develop visual discrimination of pattern, color, and shape.

Touch Boards

  • 2.5-3 years old
  • The Touch Boards is a set of 4 wooden boards. The purpose of this material is to help children discriminate rough and smooth textures.

Touch Tablets

  • 2.5-3 years old
  • The Touch Tablets are 2 sets of sandpaper tablets, 5 tablets in each set. This is a tactile, pairing material.
montessori brown stair, a montessori sensorial material.

Touch Fabrics

  • 3 years old
  • The Touch Fabric set is 6 pairs of fabric squares varying in texture. Pairing, contrasting, and grading activities can be done with the material.

Thermic Tablets

  • 3.5 years old
  • The Thermic Tablet set is 6 pairs of tablets of varying surfaces. This material is designed to refine a child’s thermic sense, or sense of temperature.

Baric Tablets

  • 4 years old
  • The Baric Tablet set is 3 boxes of seven tablets designed to refine a child’s baric sense, or sense of weight.

Mystery Bag

  • 3 years old
  • The Mystery Bag is a small bag containing small objects. Children attempt to identify the objects only by touch, refining their sterognostic sense.

Geometric Solids

  • 4 years old
  • The Geometric Solid set is 10 large wooden 3-dimensional geometric shapes designed to give children to provide children a tactile representation of 3-D shapes and refine the stereognostic sense.
montessori sensorial quote.

Sound Cylinders

  • 3-4 years old
  • The Sound Cylinders consist of 2 sets of wooden cylinders, color coded for a sound/volume pairing activity.

Silence Game

  • 4 years old
  • The Silence Game is a peaceful activity that teaches a child improve mindfulness and listen for subtle sounds in their immediate environment.

Montessori Bells

  • 4 years old
  • The Montessori Bells consist of 2 sets of bells. The 13 bells on each set present the chromatic scale to children.

Smelling Bottles

  • 3-4.5 years old
  • The Smelling bottles are 2 sets of 6 bottles designed to refine a child’s sense of smell as a pairing activity. Each bottle has a a perforated, removable lid for smelling and filling.

Montessori sensorial materials are a lot of fun for children to explore. What is your child’s favorite sensorial material or activity?

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