Children of all ages are eager to learn about their world and everything in it. They learn their first lessons from their parents and siblings at home, and when they go to school, they learn from their teachers and the world around them.
When young children go to public school, they learn by watching, listening, and reading. In a Montessori school, however, young children are taught to experience the world through all five of their senses. This can give them new insights and allow them to think creatively.
Here are some techniques and methods used by Montessori schools to teach young children to use all of their five senses.
The 5 Senses
To teach young children to use their five senses, a Montessori teacher can discuss each sense individually on different days. These staggered lessons allow the students to think about what they have learned and apply the lessons to other subjects. Examples of what these lessons may look like are given below.
The Sense of Sight
A Montessori teacher may introduce children to the sense of sight by asking them to identify objects by their physical characteristics such as color, shape, material, and size. A teacher can also show pictures of animals, buildings, people, and other objects to the students and ask them to describe each one.
To reinforce the lessons of sight, a Montessori teacher can hand out magnifying glasses for the children to use to see objects up close. This can teach children to look closely at things and consider their unique characteristics.
The Sense of Smell
To teach young children about their sense of smell, a Montessori teacher may prepare three to five small bottles by inserting a cotton ball in each one that has been moistened with a spice, aromatic oil, or an extract. Interesting scents that may be used use include vanilla extract, peppermint oil, cinnamon, and perfume.
This can teach children to differentiate between scents and relate them to the objects that produced them.
The Sense of Hearing
To teach students about their sense of hearing, a Montessori teacher may use a computer or cell phone to record various sounds such as birds chirping, children laughing, a piano playing, and other familiar sounds.
The teacher can play these sounds for the children and ask them to identify them and draw a picture of what caused the sounds. This can teach children to listen carefully and interpret sounds into visual images.
The Sense of Taste
To teach young children about the sense of taste, a Montessori teacher may hand out small paper cups with samples of foods for students to taste and explain that:
- Sweet tastes can be found with strawberries, grapes, and blueberries.
- Sour tastes can be found with lemon slices and Greek yogurt.
- Salty tastes can be found with cashews and pistachios.
- Tangy tastes can be found with tangerines and ginger.
- Bitter tastes can be found with bitter melon and grapefruit.
This exercise can teach children to look for healthy alternatives to food cravings.
The Sense of Touch
To teach children about the sense of touch, a Montessori teacher may ask them to sit in a circle while one child is blindfolded. The teacher can then place an object in the blindfolded child’s hands and ask that child to identify the object.
The other children can help the blindfolded child by giving hints about the object. This exercise will teach children that our skin sends messages to our brain about an object’s texture, shape, and density, and that touch is another way to creatively explore objects.
When young children use all of their five senses, they understand how their bodies work and find new ways to experience the world. To teach your children to use their five senses, enroll them in the Miniapple International Montessori Schools. Our programs and teachers will prepare your children for a lifetime of learning.