DIY Montessori Sensorial & Practical life Materials

We did purchase many Traditional Montessori Sensorial Materials, but I wanted to share a few things in this post that we decided to make. 

Graded Sandpaper Tablets, Tactile (smooth and rough) Boards

These were very simple to make. We used craft plywood from a craft store, and various grades of sand paper. We used wood glue to adhere the paper, and trimmed the edges a bit after they dried. 

Nut & Bolt Activity

This is a Nut & Bolt activity that my husband made for us.  The hardest thing about this was picking out the bolts.  Ours lays flat on the table to make it simple.  He counter-sunk the bolts into the bottom of a scrap piece of oak.  He used construction adhesive to secure the bolts in place,  and when it was dry I put adhesive backed felt on the bottom.
Fabric Box

I am a sewer and had lots of fabric to create this box. There is also a white box of various textures.  This was very simple to put together.  I measured and cut the squares with pinking shears.  The fabrics are varying textures and weights.  We select a few at a time for the mystery bag. 

Sound Bottles

The sound bottles were kind of fun to make, and so easy.  I called a local pharmacy and asked if they had any bottles kicking around that I could buy.  I wanted them to be opaque, and I needed several so this worked really well.  I used coloured dots on the bottom for self checking.

Weight Bottles

We also used film canisters to make the weight bottles.  We used latex caulking to set fishing weights, and to seal the canisters.  I would not make these again.  It was a pain to get all the weights, and not cheap in the end.  You also had to really be careful to weight them out correctly. 
I must say though, that they did work very well and the kids really loved them.

Smelling Bottles

The Smelling Bottles can be made very easily.  There are a ton of different containers you can use to do this. We have made a couple of versions. The first was made from spice bottles that I had on hand. I used herbs, spices, and different fragrant oils either dabbed or wrapped in cheese cloth.

This is a version we made with film canisters (free from camera shop).  I drilled a few tiny holes in the top, and filled them with pairs of distinct scents. I covered with low tact tape.  These however did work really well, and the cost was basically nothing. Again I used coloured dots on the bottom for control of error.

Bead Sequencing Activity

Bead sequencing and stringing work was such fun. I bought the segmented plastic organizer from a craft store, and made the pattern cards.
Sponge Pressing Activity Tray

Everything above was purchased at the dollar store. We also used the components to create other transfer activities.
Button Snakes in two sizes

This Button Snake activity was such a fun idea inspired from others online.  It is a variation of the Button Dressing Frame. My children were not overly fond of the Dressing Frames but loved these snakes. They are extremely cheap and easy to make. They are simply large and small buttons stitched to the tips of ribbon.  The squares are felt, with a button hole cut into them.

 Cutting Practice Box

This is another simple organizer container with strips of paper for cutting practice. It seems so simple and it really is but she absolutely loved it! We used the scraps for crafting after ward.

Transfer Activity

Tweezing and sorting mini craft poms. All pictured was purchased at the dollar store.

Constructive Triangles

Pink Tower & Brown Stair

Perhaps our favourite DIY project yet!

Red Rods & Numbered Rods

Another DIY that we loved creating and using.

Good Luck with your material making!
       Please share your work and links with us.        
We would love to see what you are making!



  1. I wonder, would plaster of paris work for a filler for the weight cylinders?

  2. It might!! I found my canisters were poss to small to get much of a weight difference.
    Let me know if you try it, and how it worked out:))

  3. Thanks for sharing so many inspiring ideas. I'm going to ask the nearest photo shop for film canisters!!

    1. Thank you!! Let me know how you do with them!!! I'd love to see:))

  4. You make such awesome materials, Cherine! I featured your post and tactile boards and tablets photo in my Montessori Monday DIY Tactile Boards and Extensions at

    1. Thank you so much Deb!! It is really nice to hear especially from you:)) Have a great week:))


I greatly appreciate your friendly comments and feedback. I love to see what others are making, so please feel free to include a links and share your site with us!!! If you have any questions regarding any of the materials we have made...I'd love to help!!! Thank you for visiting us:)



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