Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sensorial sorting

'Since feeling is first...'

Sorting games can be a wonderfully engaging sensorial task for children who are developing their desire to create order. Maria Montessori believed that sensorial experiences begin at birth, and designed exercise groups to classify the eight different types of sensory work. These classifications are visual, tactile, baric, thermic, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and stereognostic. You can read more explanation about these groups and their importance in child development here.

Beyond incorporating almost all of these sensory exercise groups, this sorting game also serves as an introduction to basic math concepts like numerical grouping and sets!

Here, I have selected three items which vary in size, shape, weight, color, and texture. These happened to be bottlecaps, sea shells, and floral beads. You can use almost anything, though, including bigger items for the children who like to explore with their mouth! I placed these items into separate jars and sat back while I watched her work.

First, she enjoyed taking the items out of each jar and moving them into the other jars. Eventually she became frustrated at the jars being too deep for her hand to easily reach into, so I helped her empty each one - that's when the real fun began!

She loved picking up the items and putting them in the jar. She focused intently on the different sounds they each made when dropped in, and really seemed to enjoy the differences in texture.

These smooth, blue floral beads were definitely her favorite. They were cool to the touch, heavier than the bottle caps and shells, and made the loudest noise when dropped into a jar. 
This is the face of an individual who is completely absorbed in her work - I love it! 

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