The Montessori Sensorial materials are absolutely brilliant hands-on materials that isolate one sensorial element at a time. That being said, they can also be the most infrequently chosen materials in your classroom — because if there’s only one way to do it, it can be less interesting than some of the other materials. I am a huge believer in extensions to traditional Montessori materials, and the Sensorial materials lend themselves beautifully to so many! If you have a child who needs more work with a certain material but they just have no interest, try one of these extensions to bring back that spark!
Color Box 1 & 2 work perfectly as scavenger hunt materials for kids who need to move a lot! Lay them all out and match the tablets, then search the room for materials that match those colors. This is a great extension for kids who like to gather things!
For Color Box 3, first grade all of the color tablets in order from darkest to lightest, then match the shades in other objects. Some of our favorites are famous works of art, pictures of butterflies, flowers, mini pumpkins/squash/gourds, different types of apples, etc.
For the pink tower, here is a free printable with several different ways you can arrange the cubes. We also like to trace the cubes on pink paper and pin push them out, then tape it up on the wall to recreate the pink tower.
For the knobbed cylinders, try combining multiple cylinder blocks and mixing all the pieces together before finding the matches. You can even put them all in a bag so your child can’t see which one she’s pulling out!
For the Rough & Smooth Boards, go on a scavenger hunt! Search the room for materials that are rough and smooth, or gather nature objects from outside.
For the Geometric Cabinet, search the room for materials that are those shapes!
For the geometric solids, search the room for materials that are those shapes, or build them using cranberries/marshmallows and toothpicks!
And you can use blind folds or a stereognostic bag with almost anything! Try it with the pink tower, brown stair, knobbed cylinders, tactile matching, rough and smooth sorting, tasting things, etc.