Have you ever noticed the pink tower in our classroom? Has your child told you about working with eyes closed or even a blindfold? Of smelling and tasting different things as classroom activities? Well, it seems like you have stumbled into the area of Montessori education often known as Sensorial.

What is the Sensorial area of a Montessori classroom?

Sensorial materials have the primary purpose of refining and ordering the senses and their impressions, in order to attain a higher degree of control and open the way to new ways of logical thinking in order to solve problems. We allow children the opportunity to further reasses sensory impressions in order to create order and discover patters between them, and establish new relationships between different objects.

This is something unique to Montessori classrooms. Maria Montessori believed that children are absorbing their environment through their senses continually since the moment they are born.

“The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge….the number of different objects in the world is infinite, while the qualities they possess are limited. These qualities are therefore like the letters of the alphabet which can make up an indefinite number of words. If we present the children with objects exhibiting each of these qualities separately, this is like giving them an alphabet for their explorations, a key to the doors of knowledge….This ‘alphabet’ of the outer world has an incalculable value…..Everything depends on being able to see and on taking an interest.”

Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

Lets go back to the famous pink tower. Look at the header image. Now look below.

We have build a tower from the blocks. Would you say the blocks are in order?


What about here?

What makes you say that both towers, different as they are, are in order? What are your eyes absorbing from these blocks and their placement, and what connections is your brain making to classify them and analize them to declare that yes, they are indeed, in order?

This is the type of thinking and connections that we want to develop through the use of the sensorial materials. Not just with the visual sense, or even just the big five, but with all of them! Well, except pain (did you know what is also considered a sense?).

What are the sensorial materials?

These are intentionally created, tried and tested materials that help us develop the senses. A lot of them come from Dr. Montessori herself - she developed them based on her own observations with children and refined them seeing what worked and what didn't.

Generally speaking, we look for certain characteristics in these materials, here is a non exhaustive list of some of them.

Their simplicity is based in exact mathematical measurements, to further encourage the children to revisit these materials as their own knowledge increases and they are able to see them from new points of view

Wait, did you say more than five senses?

Yes! We often focus on sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste, but there are a few more.

Visual discrimination

Learning to differentiate colors, shapes and sizes through visual input.

Haptic sense

This is the sense of touch. We explore how different surfaces and materials feels, and try to match similar ones to each other!

Thermic sense

Hot or cold? Let's find out! Both with containers heated or cooled to specific temperatures, as well as the natural temperature of different materials.

Baric sense

Baric means weight - so we'll try to feel differences in weight, and perhaps even do some matching.


Some smells are nicer than others, some smells we associate with memories, some remind us of everyday objects. Lets explore the world of smells


We identify and try out the main different types of tastes - kids often find bitter particularly yucky.


Whoa, big word there. This means being able to mentally visualize items. We use mystery bags and guessing games for this.

Want to know more and try these yourself?

Parents and other close adults in the lives of our students are always welcome in the classrom! Get in touch with your child's teacher to arrange a time for you to come in. Consider amazing your child with some sophisticated pink tower structures (psst - ask us about combining different materials).

For new families, find out more information about our school or get in touch with us.