sensorial extension cards – what I made this week

One of the most beautiful areas in the Montessori class has to be sensorial. Dr. Montessori designed each material as a means for the child to explore and refine his senses. Each material encourage the child to compare, categorize and make order. These ideas then carryover and the child can use these sensorial experiences to see patterns, compare leaves, describe tactile experiences, etc. The materials provide the child the means to help interpret his world.

The sensorial materials themselves are substantial and impressive and are constantly in use in our class.

Sensorial Extensions | montessori works

I have always had sets of extension cards for the knobless cylinders, and the base matching cards for the pink tower and the broad stairs. My coteacher and I also both know a handful of extensions that we always show the children, especially ones that combine using the pink tower and the broad stair. We decided that we wanted to make a collection of cards showing more  and various extensions to help inspire the children that are drawn to these materials but are beyond the initial lessons.

Extensions are a fabulous way to encourage a child to continue to work and engage in a meaningful way with the materials, and not just sensorial materials. The continued work, encouraged by the cards, helps reinforce the sensorial impressions and allows the child more opportunities to see the similarities and differences and to create order in his environment. The hope is that these cards will engage the child in this continued work and will help prompt the child’s own creative designs using the materials.

Sensorial Card Extension Notes
  • We plan on rotating through the cards and not having them all out at the same time
  • I am hoping it acts as a starting point and encourages MORE designs from the children.
  • I did not create every possible variation, especially with the knobbed and knobless cylinders.
  • We wanted our cards to match our classrooms material, that is why I made a new sets based on extensions I know and many that I found on the internet. I tried to link back to my sources for each group of photos.
  • I did not include any variations with number rods – to me they are a math material and not used for building (beyond an initial comparisons with the red rods)
  • I took the pictures in my basement at night, so they aren’t the best.

Sensorial Extensions | montessori works

Pink Tower and Broad Stair Extensions (click to download PDF) 19 photos

Pink Tower and Broad Stair Sources:

  • Most came from Lapappadolce – which also has a download for extensions
  • There are many ideas here at Inspired Montessori
  • Our Montessori Story has beautiful pictures you can download, many of the same extensions as Lapappadolce. Make sure you click on the Picasa album to see all the extensions

Sensorial Extensions | montessori works

Red Rod Extensions (PDF) 6 photos

Red Rod Sources:

Sensorial Extensions | montessori works

Knobbed and Knobless Cylinder Extensions (PDF) 9 photos

Knobbed and Knobless Cylinders Sources:

  • Another random Pin that leads nowhere
  • Our Montessori Story has a lovely knobless cylinder album, I did not include most of these because they are similar to the ones we already have at my school – but this is a fantastic resource

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27 thoughts on “sensorial extension cards – what I made this week

  1. I love the order and patterning here, Aimee! So many opportunities for creating and learning in these activities!

    1. Thanks! I am hoping that they lead to lots more patterning!

    1. Thank you for sharing them, I hope they were helpful to others.

  2. This is just what I needed! My son can easily do a basic pink tower, brown stair, and knobbed cylinders, so I have been looking for extension activities for him to do. Thanks for these great resources!!

  3. Is that last one a swastika? So my child will learn about the glorious German Rich? LOL 😉 All the other’s are great though!

    1. I was going for more of a spiral swirl design — no right angles!

  4. This is such a great resource Aimee! I am always on the lookout for more patterns for my children. Thank you for sharing these!

  5. I worry that showing the children these extensions will actually keep them from coming up with their own. You are taking away the possibility of discovery. A hint would be better…”I wonder what it would look like if you put knobbed cylinders on top of knobless cylinders.” “I wonder if the pink tower and brown stair could be put together in a new way.”

    1. I hear you and I do see your point of view. We do use those open ended questions as they are using the cards. I also see that more often the child looks and the cards and then creates their own combination of the materials.

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