homemade geometric insets

homemade montessori geometric insets

Here is our newest Montessori activity– the geometric insets.  I’ve read about them and their use in all of the books I keep checking out from the library about Montessori education, and in the books I own as well.  It was after watching this video, though, that I really saw all the potential they held for our creative family.  I’ve been struggling with helping the kids see the value in good handwriting, but using this material properly gives practice in holding and using a pencil carefully.  And it’s fun!  Just what we need.

diamond tracing

I made them from red mat board I had left over from making my set of sandpaper (well, felt, really) letters which I’ll have to show you sometime.


I used some wooden trays I found at Joann’s (they fit perfectly in our cubbies) with some book board cut to fit at a slant to display and transport them.  The knobs are from Joann’s too.  I also made a drawing tray for Ian so his paper and inset are held in place when he traces.  It’s just 2 layers of book board, the top one with a 6″ x 6″ square cut out of the center.

geometric inset work

careful lines

The boys have all been hard at work.  Since I am insisting on them being used properly–  carefully traced and then colored in by drawing lines from left to right– Brenna is pretty resistant.  Oh well.

this book helped me out

geometric inset instructions

I used this book that was given to me by my mother in-law for instructions, along with a protractor, a ruler, a compass, and a sharp exacto knife.  I made a hexagon instead of a pentagon because hexagons just fit in geometric patterns better.

The results are lovely, and my three year old is intent on holding his pencil properly, and he’s happily occupied for long stretches of time.

designs by the 6 and 8 year olds

(by Jonah and Logan)

all triangles

by the 3 year old

(by Ian)

6 thoughts on “homemade geometric insets

  1. I watched 30 min of the video, have to finish the rest another day. Wanted to see the purpose exactly.
    You have been BUSY making all those shapes and doing all that sewing!!
    I’m really longing for a visit to your house…

  2. You have such a beautiful blog! I’m not from the US, but can order this material through a friend of mine. Is it better than heavy foam for making the insets?

  3. I would like to make these too, Can you share the dimensions of inserts with me?

    Thank you

  4. I had been thinking to use matboard for these; thank you for sharing, as now I know it works! (Miri, matboard is sturdier than foam.)

    What is the book you used for the dimensions?

  5. Montessori Monday – DIY Geometric Shapes | LivingMontessoriNow.com

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