Thursday, October 15

A Stereognostic Sense Lesson (and Your Questions)

The Stereognostic Sense


The development of the Stereognostic sense is an important part of the child's work in the Sensorial area. Just as important as any of the other of senses, the stereognostic sense allows the child to discriminate size and shape through the use of touch. Dr. Montessori wrote “When the hand and arm are moved about an object, an impression of movement is added to that touch. Such an impression is attributed to a special, sixth sense, which is called a muscular sense, and which permits many impressions to be stored in a “muscular memory”, which recalls movements that have been made." (The Discovery of the Child) The use of the stereognostic sense allows the child to have a mental picture through the use of touch and movement. Other activities that develop the use of the stereognostic sense include the mystery bag and stereognostic bag.



The stereognostic activities are first done with eyes open. Once the child knows how to feel the object in the hand and is familiar with it, the objects are then used with the blindfold. I introduced this to my oldest daughter with just two types of pasta. After the initial sorting with the use of vision, she watched me use the blindfold and sort the pasta. She then had a turn. For more of a challenge I will introduce another shape and later have four different shapes. Part of the challenge is also remembering which container it goes in (great for memory skills). Other sorting materials could be buttons, beans, or shells. The important aspect of this activity is that it must vary in size and shape.


Colored pasta is very simple to make. Add a few drops of food coloring and a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the pasta in a bag. Move it around a bit.


Let it air dry as soon as the coloring looks good. It will dry very quickly.

9 comments:

Packer Family said...

Love. What age would this be introduced at?

Leslie said...

I love your blog! Thanks for all of your good ideas! I was thinking of introducing this to a group of 3-6 year olds, in a Montessori Sunday school setting. We have not used a blindfold before. Is there an introduction to using a blindfold that I could do with the children? I'm concerned about children being frightened while wearing it. I'd love to hear your suggestions. Thanks again!

Annicles said...

We have a few children at school who refuse to be blindfolded. They have watched everyone else do the introduction and use the blindfold but absolutely freak at the very mention that one day they might like to try. I haven't found any answers to that problem yet.....

Amy said...

This activity is found in a 3-6 yr room. A younger age could do the initial introduction with eyes open. I haven't tried it with my youngest daughter yet. Leslie- I don't know of any introduction activity with the blindfold. Just like Annicles said, some children, even after watching others, are not comfortable. You could invite them to try closing their eyes instead. When you introduce it, have the first child be one that is excited about wearing it and at least it will provide a positive example. Also, another activity that is a group activity is to have a bag of familiar items. Show the contents to the group and name the objects, put them back in the bag. Passing around the circle, one at a time, a blindfolded or closed eyes child reaches in and names the object, and pulls it out to see.

Anonymous said...

Hi My name is Smitha.
I have recently joined to montessori training (3-6 age group). Your posts are helping me so much....
I often take the help of your blog to write my notes and also to clarify my doubts... Thanks a lot!!!
:-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love the blog. Need help finding a reference. You mention a quote from The Discovery of the Child regarding muscular memory etc. Can anyone give me the page number and which publisher and year of publication etc.

Amy said...

Found it, I had it highlighted. Here is the info, although I've forgotten how to write a bibliography!
Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child, Ballantine Books, NY, May 12, 1986, page 116.
Hope that helps with your homework =)

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