In the Montessori classroom, the purpose of the Sensorial materials is to refine sense perception by isolating each sense:
- Sight (visual)
- Touch (tactile)
- Smell (olfactory)
- Taste (gustatory)
- Hearing/Sound (auditory)
Through Sensorial materials, children are able to create a mental connection between abstract ideas and concrete representation. This facet of the Montessori method focuses on exploration of dimension, color, shape, texture, smell, and taste. Exposure to this sensory information then allows children to classify and categorize aspects of their environment. Using this foundation, children take the information they gain in the classroom and go explore the outside world.
Maria Montessori stated, “The hand is the instrument of the mind.” This didactic or hands on approach allows children to refine sense perception, problem solve, and make associations of concepts they have learned and apply them to their environment, as well as, the outside world.