Developing the Senses

When we think about our child's development, we tend to overlook the sense of smell and sense of taste. These tools are so influential to our experience of the world. In the Montessori classroom, there are structured opportunities to develop the sense of taste and smell, including tasting activities as you see here in our toddler classroom.

In the Olfactory (sense of smell) and Gustatory (sense of taste) Sense Exercises, the child is given a key to his smelling and/or tasting sense. Although not all smells or tastes are given to the child in these exercises, the child does work to distinguish one smell from another or one taste from another. He can then take these senses, and apply them to other smells or tastes in his environment.

At home, you can continue the sensorial lesson by drawing attention to the smells and tastes around you. Slow down and draw attention to the smell of crayons or leather shoes. Take a moment to name whether a new taste is sweet or savory when you introduce them to your child.