The metal inset work is a language work that uses metal shapes and insets the child can trace. Initially the child will trace the frame of the inset. The child can then admire the shape they have made. The child can then place the shape over what they have traced to see if it fits. As the child advances they can practice drawing lines inside the shape, filling the shape in with colors (as seen above) and combining shapes to make new shapes.
So what is happening when children are working with the metal insets?
The first thing they are working on is mastering the use of their hand. Next, they work on refining their pencil skills. We consider this work a pre-writing work as it is getting the child's hand ready to write letters and draw figures. The metal inset work also practices writing from left to right and top to bottom.
Children naturally go through a sensitive period for learning how to write. When we see this interest, we will direct them to the metal inset work. Children may also choose this work independently because they are interested in it. When your child starts bringing home metal inset work, watch for the progression over the months to see how they are refining their pencil skills!
—Jennifer Hoyt, Kate Schiffman, Mai Seng Thao, and Danni Farino