To save money, I’ve been creating my own Montessori materials at home. Some storebought materials can cost as much as $100 which is just not within my budget. I’m really excited about using these particular materials with all my children. My younger ones like the idea of being able to create shapes, but for my oldest child who has poor handwriting, it will help to develop his writing muscles.
To make the inserts, I found a 12 inch self-adhesive vinyl tile for 39 cents at Home Depot. The tile I picked had 4 squares, 2 white, 2 black, making it easy to divide the tile in quarters. In the tool section at Home Depot, I found a blade for cutting vinyl tile plus a hobby knife for the details. The printout for the shapes is from Livable Learning; you can also make your own template on the computer.
The wood boxes I found in the clearance section at Reading China and Glass. The squares fit exactly in the boxes, making it a little difficult to get them out without dumping them. If you know someone handy with wood, you could barter something in exchange for homemade boxes.
My homemade materials won’t function exactly as the true geometric insets, but for a little bit of money and about 5 – 10 minutes of cutting time per tile, they’re fine for us.
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