Geometry Demonstration Tray

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2 1/2- 4 1/2


Wooden tray containing six wooden squares, three of which have insets: the triangle, the square, and the circle. These insets are painted blue in contrast to the natural wood finish of squares. The geometric figures contain a small knob in the center to remove the figures from the tray.




  1. Invite the child to work with the 'geometry demonstration tray'.
  2. Show the child where the geometry demonstration tray is located on the shelf.
  3. Indicate procedure for carrying the material: a hand on each side of the tray, thumbs on top, fingers underneath.
  4. Place the tray on a table or rug.
  5. Say, "After I remove the insets, I will match each inset to it's frame."
  6. Remove each figure, indicating to the child hoe each knob is to be held between the thumb, index, and middle fingers of the dominant hand.
  7. As each figure is removed, beginning at the left and proceeding to the right, place the figures in order in front of the tray.
  8. With the dominant hand, grasp the figure to the left by the knob. With index and middle fingers of the subdominant hand, moving clockwise, trace the edge of the figure. Select the frame in the demonstration tray that matches. Trace the frame and insert the inset. Continue until all figures have been replaced into their proper frames.
  9. Return the material to the shelf in the manner indicated in step #3.

Note: Square, circle, and triangle is the sequence of figures in the demonstration tray.

Control Of Error

Each inset will properly fit only in it's proper frame.

Points Of Interest

Some figures turn in their inset when rotated, some do not. Some figures can nest in the frames of other figures.


  • Development of visual discrimination of shape.
  • Development of concentration, coordination, and independence.
  • Responds to the sensitive need of order in the child.
  • Preparation for writing.
  • Preparation for geometry.
  • Development of tactile sense.
  • Introduction to plane geometry nomenclature.


  1. Mixed Order: Proceed as in Presentation 1 through step #6. Place all three insets on the rug in mixed order. Have the child replace them in proper order.
  2. Three Period Lesson: Proceed as in Presentation 1 through step #6. Introduce names of the shapes with the Three Period Lesson.
  3. Other Shapes: Introduce all shapes in the geometric cabinet using the demontration tray and proceeding as in Presentation 1. Select groups of three figures of highest contrast. After the sensorial experience, introduce vocabulary.