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The Aims of Metal Insets


Metal Insets : Mommy Moment

For this week’s Montessori post, I’d like to share a little bit about a Language Material called Metal Insets.     Metal Insets are a classic Montessori Language Material, used for Motor Preparation for the ages of 3-6.  It is a work that is appropriate for the first year student, but is well loved by all ages.  Even children who are already writing get a lot of out Metal Insets, as tracing the shape from top to bottom and back again can be a great preparation for cursive writing.  At first glance, one can imagine that this material is useful for preparing to write and as a preparation for geometry.  The list below outlines the aims of Metal Insets:

  • Development of eye hand coordination
  • To gain mastery over control of small movements
  • Develop control of a pencil (pressure, and steadiness)
  • Develop a geometric sense
  • Stimulate artistic sensibilities
  • Develop ability to a plan a design


Before working with the Metal Insets, be sure to give plenty of opportunities with chalkboard work, the Practical Life Area, Sensorial Work, and peg puzzles.  What aims of Metal Insets do your students or children see?
For more information on how to present a lesson on this material, click here to see my post from last year on Metal Insets.


Jessie is a Primary Montessori Teacher and Mom to twin three year olds and a five year old. Jessie has a Montessori blog at The Education of Ours, and can be found on Twitter, @educationofours.


Wednesday 3rd of January 2018


Montessori Monday – DIY Geometric Shapes |

Monday 5th of December 2011

[...] If you would be so kind as to vote for the Edublog awards, I would greatly appreciate it! I was honored to be a shortlisted nominee for Best Individual Tweeter (@DebChitwood). You may vote once per day in each category at 2011 Edublog Awards. Thanks so much! Jessie from The Education of Ours has a post on Metal Insets, Lesson and Suggested Order and at Mommy Moment on The Aims of Metal Insets, [...]


Friday 2nd of December 2011

For the tray, I believe it depends on the child. At my house, our five year old has plenty of strength in her non-dominant hand to hold the inset frame in place without. My three year olds both need the tray, or else while tracing the shape moves and it's frustrating. The tray speaks to the sense of order, everything in its place. Age may not be the deciding factor, but ability and patience. The goal of Montessori is that the children have what they need for the next steps, to protect then from failure or needless frustration. Before I sprung for this $13 tray at home, I was using a wooden picture frame to hold it in place. Cost me nothing!

I hope that guides your choice on the tray. Long answer for a simple question ;)


Friday 2nd of December 2011

hi thanks for the post . do you find using the tray necessary . could the same results be achieved without it ???

Deb @ Living Montessori Now

Thursday 1st of December 2011

Great post, Jessie! I always loved metal insets and all their extensions - and I love the kids' names for them! I think "metal insects" were probably the new name for them that I heard most, too. :)