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Sensorial Activity – Heavy and Light


Are you looking for a hands-on experiment to engage your students (or children) while teaching the concept of heavy and light? If so, Montessori Sensorial activities are a great way to turn what could be an abstract science lesson into one that is fun and accessible for all.

In this blog post, we’ll focus on how to create a simple yet effective Montessori Sensorial activity with materials around your home to help illustrate the differences between heavy and light objects.

Through this educational experience, kids can become engaged in both tactile explorations as well as a scientific observation – proving that learning can actually be quite stimulating!

A hand tossing a feather

The Montessori Sensorial activity of exploring the concepts of “heavy” and “light” provides children with a hands-on experience to develop their understanding of weight and the ability to differentiate between objects based on their weight. This activity encourages children to refine their senses, particularly the sense of touch and proprioception, while fostering their ability to make comparisons and judgments based on weight.

Here’s how the Montessori Sensorial activity of exploring “heavy” and “light” is typically conducted:

  1. Introduction: Begin by gathering a collection of objects that vary in weight. It’s essential to have contrasting objects to provide a clear distinction between heavy and light. For example, you might choose items like a small rock, a feather, a toy car, a small book, a sponge, and a wooden block.
  2. Explanation and Discussion: Gather the children in a designated area and introduce the activity by explaining the concepts of “heavy” and “light.” Engage them in a discussion about what these terms mean and encourage them to share their ideas and experiences related to weight.
  3. Demonstration: Take two objects—one heavy and one light—from the collection and demonstrate the contrast between them. For instance, hold up the rock and the feather, and invite the children to observe and compare their weight by holding and feeling them in their hands.
  4. Exploration: Provide a set of objects to each child or group of children, ensuring they have access to contrasting heavy and light objects. Allow them to explore and manipulate the objects, encouraging them to hold, lift, and compare the weight of each item.
  5. Sorting and Categorizing: After exploring the objects individually, encourage the children to sort and categorize them into two groups: heavy and light. This process helps children develop classification skills and reinforces their understanding of weight differences.
  6. Reinforcement and Extension: Engage the children in conversations about their observations and encourage them to explain why they categorized certain objects as heavy or light. You can extend the activity by introducing additional objects and challenging the children to make more nuanced distinctions based on weight.

Heavy and Light Activities 

  • Weigh various objects on a scale and place them in “heavy” or “light” baskets. We just grabbed things from our bathroom cabinet. You can easily make it seasonal with leaves and gourds.
  • Drop various objects of extreme (e.g. a feather and a rock) from our porch and determine whether “heavy” or “light”
  • Color “light” and “heavy” lines using dark and light crayons, markers vs pencils, etc
  • Take “light” and “heavy” steps – my son loved this activity. You can integrate a “stop” and “go” into the activity, too.
  • In Seattle, weather is always easy to talk about – so today it was “light” and “heavy” rain (drizzle & sprinkle vs. downpour)

Benefits of Heavy & Light Activities

The “heavy” and “light” sensorial activity offers several benefits for children’s development:

  1. Sensory Discrimination: By exploring and comparing the weight of objects, children refine their tactile and proprioceptive senses. They learn to differentiate and discriminate between varying degrees of weight and develop a greater sensitivity to touch.
  2. Mathematical Concepts: The activity lays the foundation for mathematical concepts like weight, measurement, and comparisons. It helps children understand basic mathematical principles and prepares them for future mathematical learning.
  3. Language Development: Engaging in discussions about weight and comparing objects promotes language development. Children learn to use descriptive vocabulary to articulate their observations and engage in conversations about weight differences.
  4. Cognitive Skills: Through this activity, children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they make comparisons and categorize objects based on weight. They enhance their ability to observe, analyze, and draw conclusions.

The Montessori Sensorial activity of exploring “heavy” and “light” provides children with a tangible and concrete experience to understand weight differences. By engaging their senses and encouraging active exploration, children develop a deeper understanding of weight, improve their sensory discrimination abilities, and build a strong foundation for future mathematical concepts.

Have fun! Thanks for visiting!


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