Have you ever looked at the cost of Montessori Sensorial Materials? The full sensorial curriculum can easily run you over $2000 even when purchasing from discount suppliers.
While the full set of Montessori Materials would be wonderful, it’s simply not practical for many of us.
After having reviewed my budget-priced Montessori Sensorial Materials, I wanted to pick what I felt were the most essential and cost-efficient Montessori Sensorial Materials for your dollar. (I’m also collecting several DIY and alternative ideas for every single Montessori Sensorial Material — look out for those posts soon!)
Please consider shipping costs as well when planning your purchases — this is why I’ve also provided Amazon links as Amazon often ships free, while Montessori retailers can have a minimum purchase required before free shipping becomes an option.
The Pink Tower
Really, if you only have one Montessori Sensorial Material, I hope you choose the Pink Tower.
The Pink Tower teaches orderly process, cubing, care of materials, sequencing, visual discrimination, encourages children to consider their hand placement and grips based on differently sized objects, and baric (weight) discrimination.
You can DIY the Pink Tower, but unless you already have access to the carpentry tools or are splitting the costs with friends who are also wanting their own pink towers, I’d suggest purchasing this.
I think the kids have the most fun with this sensorial material. It has so many extensions and concepts that it easily has seen the most creative reconfigurations out of all of the Sensorial materials.
The best is when you are able to pair them with the Cylinder blocks, but even on their own the knobless cylinders give a varied and intricate understanding of the different dimensions and how they can contrast and work together.
Check out my review of my Knobless Cylinders from Montessori Equipment here.
Small Stereognostic Set
Many Montessori retailers sell a small set of wooden geometric shapes (often referred to as a “mystery bag”) which are meant for guessing shapes with a blindfold (or within the bag), but they can also be used as an economical alternative to the Geometric Solids (though the weight will be different, the weight does not take away from the purpose.)
You can alternatively purchase the Learning Resources Viewthru Geometric Solids.
The Binomial Cube is (arguably) the most intricate of the Primary Sensorial Curriculum, and it is revisited in the Elementary Sensorial Curriculum and Elementary Math Curriculum.
This acts as a bit of a puzzle, but it is the first introduction to an equation and the parts of an equation in the Montessori Curriculum (cubing).
Check out my review of my Binomial Cube from Adena here.
I honestly believe that if you can purchase the Pink Tower, Knobless Cylinders, Small Geometric Solids, and Binomial Cube that you will be very happy with your purchases (on sale, these four items may even come to less than $100). Your children will get great use out of these materials if presented and used properly.
However, if you can add one more item to your purchase, I would add the Cylinder Blocks. The price is hefty, I am not going to play that down — the cheapest I have ever seen a set of the four blocks is $100. But they provide fabulous extensions with the knobless cylinders, provide unparalleled fine motor/pincer grip practice, and train your child’s eyes to perceive incredible visual discrimination — making them the only puzzle you will ever need to buy.
If you happen to have a slightly bigger budget or manage to purchase some materials used, the two materials I would add to your shopping cart are:
- Geometry Cabinet (ranges from $130-145)
- Colour Box 3 (ranges from $28-35, though you can DIY)
Many of the remaining Montessori Sensorial Materials can be DIYed or replaced with cost-efficient alternatives.
What do you think? What are your must-have Montessori Sensorial Materials?
If you’re interested in learning more about Montessori Sensorial, be sure to check out my main Montessori Sensorial page:
Also, here are some fabulous Montessori Sensorial posts from some of my fellow Montessori bloggers: