20+ Montessori-Inspired Sensorial Activities for Infants and Toddlers

“By multiplying sense experiences and developing the ability to evaluate the smallest differences in various stimuli, one’s sensibilities are refined and one’s pleasures increased.  Beauty is found in harmony, not in discord; and harmony implies affinities, but these require a refinement of the senses if they are to be perceived.  The beautiful harmonies of nature and of art escape those whose senses are dull.” ~Maria Montessori

The Sensorial area is one to which Maria Montessori gave a great deal of attention when preparing her method of education.  She invented many Sensorial works that we still use today, such as the pink tower and the red rods, and her writings serve as guidelines for teachers and parents to put together their own Montessori-inspired Sensorial materials such as those shared here.

Certain principles must be upheld for a Sensorial material to be truly Montessori-inspired:

  1. The materials teach appreciation for the smallest differences in stimuli.
  2. Movement and repetition are required for completion, building the muscular memory.
  3. Variables are isolated:  it may be sorting by color, or sorting by size, but never                                                        sorting by color AND size in the same exercise.
  4. The materials serve to associate precise terms with concrete objects.

I have put together a round-up of all the Sensorial activities already on this blog so you can find them all in one place.  They are separated by category, with general age recommendations: Colors, Shapes, Textures, Scents, Size Differentiation, and Sensory Bins.  Before you jump down to the comment section to angrily type a rebuttal — Yes, I know that sensory bins are not really Montessori and don’t meet the requirements listed above.  However, I have found them to be great sources of sensorial experiences mixed with practical life skills and messy play, and my children love them.  So I included them in my round-up.  Most of these activities are DIY, while a few require precise Montessori materials that can be purchased online.


Colors — 18 months to 4 years

Please note that I have a post on Color Box 3 but not the first two boxes.  Those are easily found by doing a Google search, and can be presented around 18 months.

Shapes — 18 months to 3 years

Textures — 12 months to 2.5 years

Scents — 18months to 4 years

Size Differentiation — 18months to 4 years

Sensory Bins — 6 months to 3 years

One thought on “20+ Montessori-Inspired Sensorial Activities for Infants and Toddlers

  1. Waw beautiful. I was thinking to find a easy and fun activities for my boys. Since it is a summer time and off from school I really don’t want to hook up my kids to iPad. I love the idea of doing smell test. Great and easy. Definitely trying it

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