What We Did:
1.) I acquired some leaf forms from here. We used them as templates for the trays by cutting the shapes and then tracing them onto thin sheets of plywood.
2.) My husband used a jigsaw to cut the shapes from the wood.
3.) He actually traced two sets of leaves on plywood. One was used for the inset and the other for the frame. Note: He tried to be as conservative with the wood, hence the uneven sizes of the frames.
4.) We painted the insets green and the frames yellow.
5) My husband cut knobs from dowels and sanded them to flatten one end of the knob. I painted them white and used wood glue to attach them to the insets.
6.) My husband made trays from left over wood. We painted the bottoms of the trays green first and then attached the wooden sides with wood glue.
I’m not sure how practical this really was. We had a good time making them. It was about a day’s worth of work. We certainly saved money since we used the leftover wood from the geometric cabinet. We actually avoided buying green paint, by mixing the blue and yellow paint we used on the geometric cabinet project. The kids seem fascinated with everything we make. They think everything we have in our classroom is handmade. My son was shocked when I told him our geography puzzles were purchased. My husband had no intention of making those!