How to DIY Montessori Metal Insets Tray

If you’re looking to create your own Metal Insets tray for your Montessori classroom or home, it’s easier than you might think. All you need are some basic materials and a little bit of time.

What are Metal Insets?

Metal Insets are a Montessori material that helps young children develop their artistic abilities, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. The material consists of ten metal frames and knobbed shapes, each with a specific geometric shape, and matching paper inserts.

To start, the child learns to trace the shapes with a pencil, which helps them develop their grip, control, and movement. They can then progress to tracing with colored pencils, which develops their sense of color and design.

As the child becomes more skilled, they can use the Metal Insets to create their own designs and patterns. This activity encourages creativity, imagination, concentration, and focus.

In addition to being artistic, Metal Insets also teach basic geometry. The different shapes, such as the circle, triangle, and rectangle, help the child become familiar with basic geometric concepts.

Here is a template for DIY Metal Insets you can laminate or puzzle cards you can use as an extension activity with this material.

We’ve started using our metal insets following her present interest to write with pens, markers, and pencils. Before presenting this, Asha has already learned the names of the geometric shapes and solids. Another prerequisite to this material is the use of some sandpaper letters.

I realized that it was hard to use the insets without a proper tray to fix it in place. She lost interest and didn’t want to use the metal insets anymore. I tried to look for metal inset trays before but it wasn’t available anywhere here in our country. So I decided today that I should just make one!

It was very simple to make. Let me show you.

What is the Metal Inset Tray for?

We’ve started using our metal insets following her present interest to write with pens, markers, and pencils. Before presenting this, Asha has already learned the names of the geometric shapes and solids. Another prerequisite to this material is the use of some sandpaper letters.

I realized that it was hard to use the insets without a proper tray to fix it in place. She lost interest and didn’t want to use the metal insets anymore. I tried to look for metal inset trays before but it wasn’t available anywhere here in our country. So I decided today that I should just make one!

It was very simple to make. Let me show you.

How to DIY a Metal Inset Tray

Materials

  • Cardboard scraps
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Cutter & Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue Gun & Stick
  • Metal Inset frames for making sure they would fit

Procedure:

  1. Gather all materials and cut 3 pieces of cardboard (14″ x 10″).
  2. Cut 2 squares (5.5″ x 5.5″) out of the 2 cardboards. The metal insets should fit perfectly here.
  3. Create a small convex on the bottom of each square. This would make removing the metal insets and paper easier.
  4. Glue the 2 cardboards with cutout squares together with the hot glue. I press them together (just by pinching all around) and make the cardboard more compact.
  5. Tape the inside and outside edges with masking tape to make it look cleaner. You can also cover it as you would when you make papier mache.
  6. Glue the 3rd cardboard at the back of the cardboards with cutout squares.
  7. Fill the gaps inside with hot glue when necessary. To keep the metal inset from going to the gaps. And it’s done!

 DIY Outcome

Since making this, she has started using the metal insets again and very happily so!

The first time she used the insets with the tray, she said so proudly, “Look, I made a square and a circle!”

Making this tray is just a little thing but it has made a big difference for her.

Here is a template for DIY Metal Insets you can laminate or puzzle cards you can use as an extension activity with this material.

If this article has been helpful, pin it and share the link to your friends. Would love to know if you used this template for your own DIY, let us know! TAG @MindSproutPH on your IG stories and receive special discount at our store

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