"An interesting object, a series of movements revolving around this object, and the fixing of attention by the action being done, is the most effective manner of calling the wandering mind of the child."
- Maria Montessori
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Montessori Sensorial Materials
The Montessori sensorial materials encourage the development and refinement of the five senses. They isolate one sense at a time and have a built-in control of error that provides the child the freedom to self-correct without the aid of a guide. They are generally introduced to a child after they have mastered some Practical Life skills, such as as dressing, handwashing, toilet awareness, grace and courtesy, etc., demonstrating the ability to concentrate.
If you've checked out our Montessori Primary Curriculum resources, then this is an excellent supplement for learning more about the Sensorial Materials themselves. I would also recommend checking out InfoMontessori for more about specific Sensorial materials used in the Montessori Primary learning environment.
Kids' Pick: Best Montessori Sensorial Materials for Homeschool
The legendary Pink Tower and Geometric Solids are some of the earliest sensorial materials introduced to children in a Preschool/Primary environment. They are beautiful and versatile. They also happen to be our kids' favorites.
Our two oldest children are 5 and almost 4. They choose to work with these two sets of Sensorial Materials more than any of the others. Very rarely does a day go by where one of our children has not built the Pink Tower, either on its own, or combined with other materials. That's a lot of hands-on play considering both kids were introduced to these materials for open-ended use at a very young age. More intentional lessons began at age 2.5 for the Pink Tower and 3.5 for the Geometric Solids.
Mom's Pick: Best Montessori Sensorial Materials for Homeschool
There are also reasons why the Pink Tower and Geometric Solids are my favorite Sensorial Materials in our homeschool. Of course, the kids' persistent interest is the top reason. But, you know what else? They're also the most affordable ones we purchased brand new.
When we were deciding which materials to purchase, which ones reinforced skills we could teach using other items in our environment, and which materials we'd like to DIY, we decided to purchase the Pink Tower and Geometric Solids among others. Since they can be introduced early, I felt like we could get a lot of mileage out of them and I was right.
The Pink Tower and Geometric Solids, two authentic Montessori Sensorial Materials, are just over $50 each, brand new at full price. Now, that may sound like a lot of money. However, if you check out what some of the other Sensorial Materials cost, you'll see what I mean. With the amount of use they've gotten the last several years, it's definitely been worth the investment for us.
I've purchased from several Montessori distributors, including Montessori Outlet, IFIT (on Etsy also), Alison's Montessori, Adena Montessori, Elite Montessori, Nienhuis, etc. There are many others making authentic Montessori materials, but these are folx I've used.
DIY Alternatives to the Best Montessori Sensorial Materials
What if you don't want to spend $50 and you can't find them on sale or used? No problem. There are great DIY alternatives. If you're handy with a saw, you can make them from wood. Alternatively, you could also use air dry clay. The most important part is to try and stick to the design of the authentic materials, with just one color used for all of the items in each sensorial work. This consistency in color allows the child to focus on size for the Pink Tower, and shape for the Geometric Solids.
There are mini versions out there of some of the Montessori Sensorial Materials, including the Pink Tower. We don't have any experience with them in our homeschool. We knew we wanted to invest in the full-size materials that we knew would get the most use. However, they do exist and are cheaper than the full-size versions. Therefore, that is also an option if you don't have babies or young toddlers in your homeschool space.
Signs of Readiness for Sensorial Work
The Pink Tower and Geometric Solids are great materials to have in your child's environment starting from an early age. They have a simple elegance that adds beauty to any learning environment. As I mentioned, our kids have used these materials in their open-ended play since a very young age. We became more intentional in our lessons with the Pink Tower when our kids were around 2.5 and at age 3 - 3.5 for the Geometric Solids.
If you're looking for tips on understanding your child's readiness for focused lessons, and what that looks like, I would recommend Toddler Discipline for Every Age and Stage and this episode of the Simple Families podcast. Both are really helpful in determining when a child is showing signs of readiness. They will also help you identify teachable moments. These tools, coupled with the child's mastery of Practical Life skills mentioned at the beginning, are a recipe for success.
We hope you all enjoy working with these Montessori materials in your homeschool as much as we have, whether it's authentic Montessori materials, DIY versions or Montessori-friendly alternatives. Let us know what you think.
Free Guide to the Best Montessori Sensorial Materials
Be sure to grab your free guide to the Montessori Sensorial Materials: The Pink Tower and Geometric Solids above. This guide will walk you through the process of introducing both materials to your preschooler. In addition, you will receive follow-up and extension ideas for both. Get everything you need to begin your journey with the iconic Montessori materials used by children all over the world.
More Planning and Curriculum Resources
- Montessori Minimalist Homeschool Planning: A How-To Guide
- Montessori Primary Curriculum
- Homeschool Daily Rhythm
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