Does your child need help making connections with certain math concepts? Explore those troublesome math concepts with hands-on manipulatives. Math concepts are more easily understood when manipulating other objects regardless of age!
A few kids grasp math concepts no questions asked, but most like and need to manipulate items with his/her hands in order to see the concept being taught, be it addition, subtraction, patterning, skip counting, division, fractions, etc. In order to understand math, you must do math! In the famous words of Confucius:
Hands-on math Manipulatives
Almost anything can be used as a manipulative to learn math!
Check your craft closet, junk drawer, backyard, or dollar spots for manipulatives to explore math concepts in your homeschool. We recently explored 20+ manipulatives and ways to play with them to make math fun, but here is the biggest list yet of different manipulatives to use during your math lessons!
Math Activities with Manipulatives
- Spend time talking about addition by linking paperclips, adding wiggly eyes to a monster, or by gathering nature items!
- Make 2D and 3D shapes using play dough.
- Explore money by using real or pretend money and sort them in muffin tins.. or by “playing store.”
- Practice tally marks with popsicle sticks.
- Skip count by two’s using q-tips.
- Introduce multiplication by grouping Legos.
- Work on division with a bag of skittles or goldfish.
- Make patterns with pom poms, beads, or toy cars.
- Sort a deck of cards or clip clothespins to a ruler to learn odd and even numbers.