40+ Math Manipulatives & Resources For All Ages

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Fun Math Manipulatives For All Ages


A 2015 study* confirmed that hands-on science and math manipulatives are highly effective in helping students learn the material. Furthermore, math manipulatives can be used before a student is formally introduced to the concepts in school.

We have a child with dyscalculia, so math manipulatives are near and dear to us. The issue, especially for people with dyscalculia, is that math is a subject that is sometimes taught (erroneously) as an abstract subject involving lots of memorization and a genius-level IQ to ever understand.

When it is taught correctly, math becomes real and tangible. Students start to see math and numbers in the world around them and it starts to make sense to them.

That’s why I advocate hands-on math as much as possible. You can do that by choosing a hands-on curriculum and/or supplementing with math manipulatives.

Math manipulatives are anything that students can touch, handle, and manipulate in order to gain a better understanding of math and numbers. This can be done with traditional objects, real-world opportunities, games, and even apps. You can even use beans or pennies as math manipulatives to teach counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Math Manipulatives

Real-World Math

  • Teaching math while cooking (volume printable)
  • Money
  • Budgeting
  • Measuring Cups
  • Distance traveled in a car
  • Calories consumed or burned
  • Distance walked or distance traveled on a bike ride
  • Estimating the time it will take to get from one place to another when running errands, then calculating estimated time vs. actual time
  • Calculating sale prices when the sale is a percentage off
  • Using a food scale to measure out portions
  • Adding food prices in the store
  • Calculating the miles per gallon used by the family car
  • Counting road signs
  • Comparison shopping
  • Sports scores

Math Games

Other Resources

Math Apps

While manipulatives are great teaching tools, apps are as well. Educational apps can be a good resource for review, practice, or for learning in a different way.

Here is a list of math apps:

*Cecilia O. Ekwueme1, Esther E. Ekon1 & Dorothy C. Ezenwa-Nebife2 , Higher Education Studies, Vol. 5, No. 6; 2015.

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