Last week our school had the honor of renown Waldorf Speaker and Educator Nancy Blanning come to give a talk to parents at our school titled: “The Twelve Senses.” Every child born to earth has a big task. Everything is new and foreign. How does a little child begin to “make sense” out of it all? Through the doorways of the twelve senses we “make sense” of the experiences that come towards us. What we learn through our senses helps us to connect different parts of each experience and build a construct of the world.
Rudolf Steiner was the first to propose that there are 12 senses. He described the senses which relate to the perception of: the body (touch, of life, of movement, of balance) the external world (smell, taste, sight, temperature) and the immaterial, spiritual world (hearing, speech, thought, ego). It is important that a child develops and uses as many of their senses as possible because each sense reveals another aspect of the sensory reality. Sensory perception also forms the basis of the relationship with oneself, their surroundings, and the people around them. In order for a child to learn to observe well, they must use their senses comprehensively and frequently.
Here are some resources she shared with parents: