Learning Through Sensory Discovery

Our HBMH friends have been enjoying this week’s Summer Camp theme, “Learning through Sensory Discovery”. With so many options to choose from, they are invited each day to pick and choose which sensorial materials they would like to work with, then given the opportunity to create and manipulate a masterpiece of their own. It is truly amazing to see their creativity unfold as they put their minds (and hands) to work.

Our camp themes were designed to feature creative hands-on activities that build skills, bodies, and excitement. We offer an environment that fits the needs and interests of all our children, incorporating Montessori principles that foster independence and freedom with responsibility. I’m hoping to update our blog all summer long to show the children as they progress through the different themes.

Children use their senses to learn. At a very young age, they have a natural desire to discriminate objects by their similarities and differences, using their visual, auditory, tasting, olfactory (smelling) and tactile abilities. Each sensorial material in the Montessori classroom was designed to better define these abilities, not to mention all of the abstract lessons the child is learning from the same work such as introduction to language, reading, writing, math, and so forth. Children are given the opportunity to exercise their senses through working with different textures, colors, shapes, dimensions, masses, tastes, smells, temperatures, pitches and intensity of sounds. Not only do these works advocate creative expression, but they also promote abstract thinking.

Knobless Cylinders

I chose to work with the knobless cylinders. Using a guide, I created a beautiful design, displaying each group of cylinders by their relationships in height and diameter.

Pink Tower

By diminishing my vision, I’m able to utilize my tactile senses to feel the lengths and heights of each cube as I build my tower in decreasing size.

Pink Tower_Yellow Cylinders

The bright colors of the yellow cylinders and pink tower stimulate my visual senses. Each cube and cylinder is graded by decreasing size and diameter, and placed in order to create a tower taller than my body! This work is also indirectly preparing me for counting, geometry, and other mathematical lessons by giving me an in depth understanding of varying dimensions.

Color Tablets_1

I’ve chosen to work with the Color Box III, which allows me to grade the tablets by intensity of color (darkest to lightest).

Apple Sound Test_1

Our Apple friends participated in a group activity to test their auditory senses. Using different musical instruments and a blindfold, Ms. Patti tests our ability to identify and distinguish between each sound.

Resources: The Namta Journal, Volume 37, Number 1, Winter 2012

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