The material is part of the “prepared environment” and, according to Montessori, corresponds to the real needs of the children. This gives the children the opportunity to gather the basic experience they need in the course of their development. For the child they are the “keys to the world”.
They are divided into the following areas:
- Exercises in daily life: Montessori sees these exercises as a means of educating the child in terms of independence. Many of these actions, such as tying a bow, help the child to coordinate movements and build concentration.
- Sensory material: Montessori has developed materials for seeing, smelling, hearing, feeling and tasting to train the senses. Sensory materials are offered to the child to promote perception in such a way that only one sense is specifically addressed at a time. This material forms the preliminary and indirect preparation for the field of mathematics.
- Mathematics: The Montessori material makes the rules and laws of mathematics so clearly comprehensible that the content is made “tangible”. The children should learn clearly to derive abstract from concrete ideas.
- Language: Montessori developed extensive material to promote precise use of language and to enrich vocabulary. Reading and writing are indirectly prepared by the child. Important prerequisites are the ability to coordinate eye and hand, the correct perception of shapes and the analysis of sounds and their assignment of letters.
- Cosmic Education: The comprehensive, “global” worldview, to which Montessori expanded her considerations, formed the background for her concept of “Cosmic Education”. The aim for them was to “marvel” at the magnificence of the world and see details not individually, but in relation to the whole. Thus, within cosmic education, a path to world responsibility and world peace should be shown for every stage of child development.