The lessons in the Sensorial area are designed to help children explore and learn using their senses. A variety of materials are available to investigate height, length, depth, color, shape and size. Children discover and explore using all five senses. There are sound cylinders, rough and smooth boards, tasting jars, smelling jars and color tablets. These lessons allow the child to explore qualities of objects, and compare and contrast building his own intellect through his senses.
The materials isolate the concept they are designed to teach. For example, the color tablets are all the same size and shape – the only variation between them is the color. The shapes in the geometry cabinet are all the same color and size – the only variation is the shape.
Initially, the child learns how to use each lesson and is then left to practice and experiment independently. Children discover similarities and differences without the teacher pointing them out. Eventually they learn the language related to their experience (color names, comparatives and superlatives, shapes, etc.). They can then relate what they have learned in the classroom to the world around them as they build their vocabulary, allowing them to name things and understand concepts.
A child’s imagination develops at about age six. Using the Sensorial materials, the child gains a foundation of facts with which to imagine and create.