Montessori metal insets tracing tray DIY

I came up with this DIY Montessori tracing tray, to help stabilize the insets while my daughter traces shapes. My daughter is ready to start writing, in fact she can already trace a couple of letters. So I bought  this wooden, smaller, cheaper version of metal insets but I couldn’t find a tracing tray for this smaller version. 

What is exactly a Montessori metal inset?

 The Metal Insets are used in preparation for writing, to help control of writing movements and changing directions. You can learn more about how to use the insets in this article from How we Montessori   and on this other link from Info Montessori you will find instructions of how to use them.

This DIY tray template will work for any type of inset, you just need to adjust the size but you can use the same material and template. This specific template is for the size of the wooden insets. 

How to make Montessori metal insets Tracing Tray

  1. Print and Cut the template, if you don’t want to measure your insets. Download the template HERE.
  2. Trace two rectangles (13.5cms x 24.5cms) on a presentation board and cut them with a knife.
  3. On one of the rectangles trace the two squares (the size of your metal inset) 
  4. Cut a small half circle on top with a circle cutter. This will make easier to take out the insets 
  5. Glue together the two rectangles and wait to completely dry.
  6. (Optional) To make it more resistant brush a couple of layers of Mod Podge.

About the Montessori wooden insets

This wooden insets are a lot more smaller than the original ones, so it makes it a little bit challenging for children. If I would’ve the budget to buy all original montessori material I would buy them with no doubt. If you are like me, and don’t have the budget to buy the original insets and trays, this is a really good  and cheaper alternative.

The fact that a regular post-it notes will fit on the tray makes it extra special for kids. My daughter’s really enjoy showcasing her work on the wall. First time I present her the insets, I place all the insets in a basket without the inside part. I place the post-it notes in one side and one inset in the other side and show her how to trace. 

When I observed that she knew how this works I placed the inside part of the insets on a tray and post-it notes in a basket. If you want to explore all the options of montessori metal insets you can click on each image below to compare size and price.


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