Montessori Tool Trays and 3-Part Cards

Montessori Tool Trays and 3-Part Cards

Montessori tool trays and 3-part cards are popular with children who are allowed to experience real tools.  This is true in both Montessori settings and in traditional classrooms.  One tray at a time is provided for children to learn about individual tools such as Phillips head and flat head screwdrivers. The authenticity of the activity leads to real engagement and feelings of accomplishment.  No external praise is needed with an activity is intrinsically motivating. Plus there are real word applications outside of class that children will notice.

Montessori Tool Trays and 3-Part Cards

Here are a few trays set up for success. Provide only what is necessary for use. Few explanations are required once children learn how to use the tools safely.  Tool instruction is provided in Montessori settings where children have access to such materials. If used in a traditional classroom, some instruction about proper use of the tool would be required.  I would begin with only one tray at a time until children are demonstrating the ability to be careful and approach the materials safely. These activities also help with fine motor skills if children are needing to work on pencil grip and wrist strength.

Here is a tray with just a wrench and bolts to adjust.


Here is a tray with a Philips head screwdriver and Philips head screws to turn.

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This tray has a flat head screwdriver that works with the screws provided.

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Along with being able to touch and feel the screwdrivers, wrenches, bolts, and so on, vocabulary can be included such as the following tools 3-part cards. This product is available on Teachers Pay Teachers as well as Teacher’s Notebook, and has a free sample page included in the preview file. It is on sale on TpT now for the Montessori Super Sunday sale March 13, 2016.


Thank you for reading, Carolyn

About Carolyn Wilhelm

Carolyn Wilhelm is the author of The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. She has an MS in Gifted Education, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12. She makes mostly free resources for teachers and parents.
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