The Montessori sensorial curriculum engages a variety of your child’s senses. Many of them we can easily list: visual senses for sight differentiation, tactile senses to learn through touch, baric senses to feel pressure and weight, auditory sense to hear a range of pitch, olfactory and gustatory senses for smelling and tasting. One that we might not know by name, however, is the stereognostic sense, or the ability to recognize objects by touch alone.
It’s such an important sense that scientists are attempting to engineer sensors that mimic it for use in prosthetics. And compared to that task, practicing the stereognostic, or tactile differentiation sense at home is easy!
This activity is taken right from the Montessori classroom’s shelves, and it is called “The Mystery Bag.” You’ll need a medium sized opaque cloth bag and 2 to 7 different small objects (sea shells, buttons, coins, paper clips, keys, clothes pegs, rocks, or crayons would all work great).
Sit with your child on the floor. One by one take each object out of the bag and identify it together, lining them up in front of your child. Once they’ve all been named, have your child put them back in the bag.
Next, your child will reach into the bag, feel one object, identify it, take it out of the bag, and check their answer. Start with just 2 or 3 objects and let your child reach in and choose which one to identify first. As they develop this sense you can add more objects and the one they need to find next. You can also work with an identical set of the objects, letting your child see the object that they are feeling.