Manipulatives are objects which are designed so that a learner can perceive some concept by manipulating it.
Sensorial materials are self-correcting, hands on materials that aid your child in thier developing powers of vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. This is done to help promote independence and problem solving.
Basic concepts such as numeration, place value, addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. For numeration, there is a set of ten rods, with segments colored red and blue and “spindle boxes”, which consist of placing sets of objects in groups, 1-10, into separate compartments. For learning the numeral symbols, there is a set of sandpaper numerals, 1-9. For learning addition, subtraction, and place value, materials provide decimal representation of 1, 10, 100, etc., in various shapes made of beads, plastic, or wood. Beyond the basic math materials, there are materials to show the concepts of fractions, geometrical relationships and algebra, such as the binomial and trinomial theorums.
Montessori language materials provide experiences to develop use of the writing instrument and the basic skills of reading the written language. For writing skill development, the metal insets provide essential exercises to guide the child's hand in following different outline shapes while using a pencil or pen. For reading, a set of individual letters, commonly known as sandpaper letters, provide the basic means for associating the individual letter symbols with their corresponding phonetic sounds. Showing several letters, a lesson, known as the Seguin three-period lesson, guides children to learn the letter sounds, which finally blend together to make certain simple phonetic words like “up” and “cat”. Montessori language materials have been developed to help children learn grammar, including parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, prepositions, adverbs, conjunctions, pronouns, and interjections.
Practical life materials and exercises respond to the young child's natural interests to develop physical coordination, care of self and care of the environment. Specific materials, for example, provide opportunities for self-help dressing activities, using various devices to practice buttoning, bow tying, and lacing. Other practical life materials include pouring, scooping and sorting activities, as well as washing a table and food preparation to develop hand-eye coordination. Other practical life activities include lessons in polite manners, such as folding hands, sitting in a chair, walking in a line.
History, geography , music, art, and even some sciences all fall under this category. Children work with maps, puzzles, and globes. Art is an integral part of many Montessori projects, and children draw, cut, and color their work.