Montessori Materials

Montessori materials are hands-on learning tools that are designed to provide children with opportunities to discover key learning outcomes through repetition and practice. Each material teaches one skill at a time and is intentionally designed to support independent learning and problem-solving. 

What are Montessori Materials?

Montessori materials are ingenious hands-on learning tools that are designed to stimulate children’s minds, encourage exploration, and inspire independent learning. They are enticing, simple to use, and intentionally support children’s learning and development. Together, the Montessori materials come together to form the Montessori Curriculum.

Montessori materials teach only one skill at a time to provide children with the opportunity to master key learning outcomes through repetition and practice. Doctor Montessori stated: “Nothing goes into the mind that does not first go through the hands.”

Children are first introduced to the Montessori materials by a trained educator, who will present a Key Lesson, and then invite the child to work with the material independently. When they have finished working with the activity, the children return each material to its allocated place in the prepared environment.

The Montessori materials are presented to the child in sequence, from easiest to hardest, and in accordance with their developmental needs and interests. This clear structure provides a logical and ordered progression for learning, which in turn, promotes the gradual layering of knowledge.

Sandpaper Letters

The Sandpaper Letters are used to teach children the sound for each letter through muscular and visual memory. Children trace the symbol until the shape of the letter becomes part of their muscle memory.

Numbers and Counters

Numbers and Counters reinforce children's understanding of numbers, sequencing, and quantities. This material teaches children that each number is made up of seperate quantities.

Puzzle Map: Parts of the World

The Parts of the World Puzzle visually introduces children to the forms and names of the continents, oceans, and hemispheres and their relationship to each other.

Mirror Polishing

Mirror polishing teaches children how to clean items in their environment. The process of polishing develops hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, concentration and independence.

Moveable Alphabet

The Moveable Alphabet teaches children to recognise letters and construct words. This material is used in conjunction with language cards. It prepares children for writing and reading.

Constructive Triangles

The Constructive Triangles are used to show that all plane geometric figures can be constructed from triangles. There are five boxes. Each box contains triangles of different sizes, shapes, and colours.

Sandpaper Letters

The Sandpaper Letters are used to teach children the sound for each letter through muscular and visual memory. Children trace the symbol until the shape of the letter becomes part of their muscle memory.

Numbers and Counters

Numbers and Counters reinforce children's understanding of numbers, sequencing, and quantities. This material teaches children that each number is made up of seperate quantities.

Puzzle Map: Parts of the World

The Parts of the World Puzzle visually introduces children to the forms and names of the continents, oceans, and hemispheres and their relationship to each other.

Mirror Polishing

Mirror polishing teaches children how to clean items in their environment. The process of polishing develops hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, concentration and independence.

Constructive Triangles

The Constructive Triangles are used to show that all plane geometric figures can be constructed from triangles. There are five boxes. Each box contains triangles of different sizes, shapes, and colours.

What’s Unique About Montessori Materials?

  • Hands-on learning tools that teach one skill at a time
  • Designed with multiple learning styles in mind
  • Build knowledge and skills through repetition and practice
  • Made of natural materials and real-life objects
  • Develop independence, fine motor skills, and concentration
  • Learning outcomes discovered through problem-solving
  • Designed for children to teach themselves
  • Simplify abstract concepts

How Do Montessori Materials Work?

Hands-On Learning

Montessori materials are hands-on learning tools that guide children to discover key learning outcomes through repetition and practice. Each material breaks down one key concept into simple steps that children master through hands-on exploration. This aspect makes the Montessori materials particularly effective, as they involve the hand, as well as the mind, in all learning experiences.

Control of Error

Montessori materials are designed with an inbuilt ‘control of error’ that is self-evident. This quality allows children to see their own mistakes and discover learning outcomes independently through repetition and practice. For example, the knobbed cylinder won’t fit in the incorrect hole, water may spill on the table, or there will be too many/too few objects at the end of a counting activity.

Progression Order

In the Montessori classroom, the Montessori materials are arranged within their curriculum area and are displayed from left to right in progression order, from easiest to hardest. This logical sequence provides children with a clear pathway to learning as they progress through the Montessori Curriculum.

Fine Motor Skills

Montessori materials encourage purposeful movement and exploration. This manipulative quality makes them highly beneficial at developing fine motor skills. These skills are essential components of a balanced approach to early childhood education as they encourage independence, concentration, and prepare children for real life.

One Skill at a Time

Montessori materials teach only one skill or concept at a time. This allows children to deeply engage with the material as they discover, practice, and master the learning outcome at their own pace. Each material has been developed in the context of all the other materials to progressively build children’s knowledge and skills within each subject area.

Auto-Instructional

Montessori materials are designed to be used without the help of an adult. This allows children to discover and master the learning outcomes of each material through repetition and practice independently.

Where to next? Montessori Curriculum

The Montessori Curriculum offers children five key areas of study: Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, and Cultural Studies. Each area of study encompasses a suite of Montessori materials and activities that offer a simple step-by-step break down of key knowledge areas and skills. Through repetition and practice with the Montessori materials, children develop a foundational understanding of each curriculum area.

Montessori Curriculum