The Child at birth is a complete stranger to our environment. He is by nature an explorer, seeking to establish contact with his environment by means of his senses. The senses have been called the “gateways to the intelligence”. Their main function is to transmit messages from the environment outside, to the centre which is the brain, they accumulate impressions. These senses are natures “Gifts” to the child at birth, the child’s attention is directed towards the observation of his surroundings. All the impressions are taken in, unconsciously, totally, globally and without discrimination.

All these impressions are gathered together creating a confused but considerable wealth in his mind. It is the object of education to give these senses every assistance within its power to activate these senses and develop their potentialities, not merely as instruments of the intelligence, but simply as organs of the human body which have been given in order to be activated. This education has to be given during the formative period “0-6” years of a child’s life, in a methodical way.

The education of the senses is of the highest importance for the development of the whole personality, which has to construct itself with the means contained in the environment. This aim of education is to develop the potentialities of the human personalities. If we wish to help the development of the personality we must assist in the development of all these senses.

All the help that the child needs is given with the help of materials in an AMI Montessori House of Children. These sensorial activities because of their special purpose and function, and because of their nature in helping the child come in contact with his environment, not merely require material but specially prepared scientific material.

What would the child achieve while and after working with the Sensorial activities?

  • The child will become conscious of all the physical properties in the environment with the help of his senses ie..the child will be conscious of colour and identify them by name, see things as small, big, short, tall…will now say “long” rather than “big” he will be conscious of geometry in his immediate environment at home.. he will realize his plate is circular, his serviette is a squire, etc…
    Other effects.
  • The sensorial materials are a powerful means where with to acquire consciousness of the immense wealth previously absorbed impressions.
  • They are the gateways and foundation for an intelligent exploration of the environment.
  • They create a basis of order in the mind and lead to fundamental abstractions.
  • They help in discovering of beauty and after the means for artistic creativeness.
  • They develop the child’s powers during the formative period and reveal hidden defects when they yet can be corrected eg: hearing defects, sight defects etc…

How can you help your child at home?

From a very young age keep talking to your child by emphasisng on words and by showing things early as three months, and draw your child’s attention to more things around him as he develops…

Sense of Sight – Help your child become conscious of colour eg: today you are wearing a yellow dress, look this rose is red etc , shape eg: “your serviette is a square if I fold it again it becomes a rectangle…I can also show you how you can fold it to a triangle , dimensions .this tree is short..but look at that tree its tall etc..

Sense of taste – sweet..when you give something sweet..say mmm yummy isn’t it tasty? when medicine is given, bitter taste is experienced…sour..lime..salt…etc..

Sense of smell – When mom is cooking..the smell of food, smell of medicine, smell of fragrance etc..

Sense of Touch – awakens the consciousness of textures , surfaces and weights…your skin is smooth…this cloth is rough…the water is careful the tea is hot, your shirt is wet ..put it to dry…your school bag is heavy my hand bag is light etc..

Sense of hearing – The music is loud…please speak softly…I can hear a bird chirping..i can hear noise of dad’s and move objects without making a noise etc..

Stereo-gnostic sense – Helps the child conceptualise the combination of tactile and muscular senses. Helps the child to see with his hands. Through the movement an impression of the object is formed in the mind. Eg: You may do a game with your child..take few small (toys) a car, a cup, a plane, a comb, a ball…close your eyes and feel the object nicely..still while eyes are closed you may give the name of the your eyes and marvel that you have identified the object while your eyes were closed..ask your child to do the same…

It’s amazing to realize the amount of obedience and decision making with correct judgment is made by the young child in the Montessori as well as outside the Montessori environment.