Starting the new year off right, I presented the Metal Insets to DJ today. He's been doing a lot of writing lately which is different from drawing because instead of sweeping circular movements, he's trying to mimic my handwriting by doing small rows of curves and lines. DJ saw the insets in storage yesterday and started yelling excitedly, "I'm ready for those! I'm ready for those!" Heh. He didn't know what they were for yet nor did he know that I had been prepping all week to put them on the shelves.
I've had these Metal Insets in storage for awhile. You'll recognize that they're similar to the Geometric Cabinet that DJ has worked with quite a bit. The difference is that these are thinner and more sturdy so they work better for tracing. I hadn't wanted to buy these new at $70 from discount suppliers so I was thrilled to find them used on Craigslist for only $25. It wasn't until I got them home that I saw the Nienhuis label on them, the premium Montessori materials supplier! That means, this set sells new for $175 and are in near perfect condition!! Wow!
The paper used for Metal Insets is 5.5" square. I could buy it pre-cut from a Montessori supplier for $6.30 plus shipping but then I realized if I cut .5" off the end of 11x17 paper, I'd get six 5.5" squares from each page, which is less than half the cost.
I have Prismacolor pencils that I'll have DJ use in time but I wanted him to start with short pencils so I chose these from Crayola.
When we headed downstairs for breakfast this morning and DJ saw the Insets on his shelf, he refused breakfast and insisted I show him how to use them immediately.
This was my first drawing that I made to present to DJ.
Step 1: place the outer frame on the paper, select a pencil color (in this case red) and trace the shape.
Step 2: place the inner inset on the paper, select another color (blue) and trace the shape.
Step 3: select a 3rd color (green) and draw the curved lines from left to right, bottom to top.
DJ went right to work. He did great with the tracing. He preferred the pink frame to the blue inset. When he got to step 3, he mostly just scribbled in the center. That's okay. This is the first day. He has lots of time to practice.
He did about six designs, choosing a different shape every time. Although he seems convinced that you have to use a red pencil to trace the pink frame and blue for the blue inset. I did get him to choose a different third color, but the red and blue he was adamant about.
He also did not use the proper pencil grip most of the day but he did let me show him how to hold it properly and took it very seriously. Most importantly, he had A LOT of fun.