Geometric Shape Insets

A detailed guide to understanding the Geometric Shape Insets material and how it is used within the Early Years curriculum.

How does it work?

Guidepost’s Geometric Shape Insets are a multi-purpose material that’s ideal for the home user. It includes 9 knobbed wooden shapes, 9 wooden shape frames, and 1 wooden tray to hold everything neatly. It is an excellent introduction to plane geometry and the vocabulary of basic shapes.

The wooden shapes’ small knobs promote the child’s pincer grasp when they match the insets to the frames in various ways: a few at a time, all of them together, or at a distance. At a later stage, this material can also serve as a substitute for the Montessori metal insets, a fine-motor activity that prepares the child’s hand for good penmanship.

Prerequisite Skills - As with all Sensorial materials, the benefits of the Geometric Shape Insets are best enjoyed by the child who has developed their ability to work logically through multi-step tasks. The exercises of Practical Life are the ideal training ground for this. Extensive work with Practical Life activities or other real, everyday tasks is the best way to prepare a child for this and other Sensorial activities.

Introducing the Geometric Shape Inserts

Sample lesson.

Start by watching this sample lesson from our Guidepost Homeschool platform that will familiarize you to the Geometric Shape Inserts and their use.

If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, scroll down to see all the corresponding lessons where this material is used in our curriculum. To unlock more than 2,000+ lessons subscribe to Guidepost Homeschool today.

How to set up.

Setup - Carefully remove all packaging materials. Arrange the shapes in the order indicated in the product picture shown, which is approximately least to most complex. When not in use, the insets can be stored in this manner on the shelf alongside other Sensorial materials.

Usage Tips - The Geometric Shape Insets are suitable for use either on a work rug on the floor or at a child-height table.

  • Never ‘dump’ the insets and frames out of the tray! Instead, model to the child that we remove insets by holding their knob, then take the frames out by grasping the middle opening and the edge.
  • Always use a precise pincer grasp when holding the knobs, and point out to the child that you are using your thumb, index, and middle fingers.
  • Use of this material can start out with the child matching just a few insets to frames, and gradually build up to more shapes, until the child can match all.
Stand Alone Photo

For Guidepost Homeschool subscribers

If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, start in the order below to navigate to the corresponding lesson plans using the Geometric Shape Insets in our Altitude learning platform.

Wondering about supplies used in particular lessons? Detailed materials lists can be found at the beginning of each lesson in Guidepost’s Altitude system, as well as on the materials cards at the beginning of each unit.

  • Corresponding Altitude lessons

    Lessons where the Geometric Shape Insets are used

    Sensorial: (3-5) Visual Sense

    • Introducing Geometric Shapes
    • Follow Up: Language Extension
    • Follow Up: Matching Insets to Cards
    • Follow Up: Matching Cards to Insets
    • Follow Up: Matching Cards to Insets at a Distance
    • Follow Up: Matching Insets to Cards at a Distance

    Geometry: (5-12) Introductory Lessons

    • Geometry Cabinet: Triangle, Square, and Circle
    • Geometry Cabinet: Quadrilaterals
    • Geometry Cabinet: Regular Polygons
    • Geometry Cabinet: Miscellaneous Figures

    Geometry: (6-12) Polygons

    • Curvy Shapes
    • Exploring Axes of Symmetry
    • What are Regular Polygons?
    • Polygon Parts
    • Kinds of Quadrilaterals
    • How to Find the Center of a Polygon
  • What is Guidepost Homeschool?