What are sensorial activities? From birth till about seven years of age, children have very sensorial relationship within their world – they utilize all of their five senses such a sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell to learn about their environment. Anything that triggers their senses, goes directly to their brain. Each Montessori sensorial activity triggers just one sense: allowing a child to discriminate the order and grading of their environment.
Sound Cylinders are a traditional Montessori material that isolates just one sense - the sense of hearing. This activity can be offered to a child starting from two and a half (you can always try earlier and see if a child responds), and is usually presented after introducing the Knobbed Cylinders, Pink Tower, and Binomial Cube.
Sound cylinders come in two (red and blue) identical sets of six sealed wooden cylinders that make a distinctive sound when shaken. The cylinders are graded from very soft to loud, and each cylinder has either a red or a blue top. Each set is contained in a wooden box with a matching red or blue lid.
Your child will learn:
- auditory/sound discrimination by exploring one sense - a sense of hearing;
- sense of order;
- matching the sounds, since sounds made by the cylinders are paired, i.e. the sound made by one cylinder in the red set matches the sound made by its equivalent cylinder in the blue set.
With a younger chid, you may want to start with just three sets of distinct cylinders: arrange blue in a column on the right and red in a column on the left.
You will perform a pairing exercise: take one red cylinder and shake it near a child's ear.
Control of Error – numbers on the bottom of each cylinder must match representing a pair.
- Introducing language: you can present a Thee-Period Lesson to teach a child terminology: loud vs soft.
Presenting a Three-Period Lesson:
(P1) “This is loud; this is soft."
(P2) “Will you show me loud/soft?
(P3) Ask the child: “What is this?"
- Grading one set of cylinders in order from loudest to softest.
- Use a blindfold to further isolate the sense of hearing.