Math Manipulatives, Links, and Printables

Posts on this blog about Math:

Gingerbread man sequencing and patterns printables

Pumpkin Counting and Patterns

Bears on the bus Math

Cake Fractions

Math Patterns


Domino Math

Fishbowl Math

More Math Fun

Preschool Cookie Math



From left: lego bricks, mini fish erasers from the Dollar Tree, mini erasers from Target, Monopoly hotels, beans, animal shaped “stones” from a children’s mancala game, polished stones, flat marbles, buttons, shaped paper clips from Target, bear counters from Walmart (gotten on clearance with sorting buckets about 3 months after school started).

Natural/free/lowcost options:

pebbles, shells, acorns, bottle caps (free with purchase of a drink), buttons, coins.

Bright and colorful low-cost options:

Bear counters and buckets
(can be found at Walmart)

Addition and Subtraction with Dice and Bears

Lego bricks (you need 55 bricks to make stacks 1-10)


Mini Erasers – Target dollar bins around August



Flat marbles:

Addition with dice and flat marbles

Multiplication with flat marbles

Shaped Beads Muffin Tin Multiplication


Division mats

Mathlink cubes


Fraction circles (about $4 from Walmart around August-September)

Geometric Counting Cylinders
Photobucket Photobucket

Pattern Blocks


Colored geometric forms (from Guidecraft)




Pass the Pigs (kind of like dice but way more fun using pig shaped “dice”)
Dominoes (the ones with dots, not pictures).
Domino Math Printables
Printable Tangrams
Printable Pentominoes (print up on cardstock and laminate or on magnetic printer paper).
Hi-Ho Cherry-O
Chutes and Ladders
Monopoly Jr and Monopoly
Clue Jr (logic game)

Time and money games (also from Walmart):

Money Bags coin value game.


Early Childhood math tips

Math and Science Links

Let’s Play Math!

Free Printables:

Pre-Kinders Math Printables

First-School Preschool Activities and Crafts



10 Responses to Math Manipulatives, Links, and Printables

  1. homeschoollearningforlife says:

    I have just added some magnet activities to our blog and the girls are going to do more if you are after a couple of experiment ideas. (we were lucky enough to get a book of ideas thrown in with the magnet kit).

  2. growinginpeace says:

    I will be checking those out today! Thanks!

  3. kinderblogger says:

    Awesome ideas I will use in my kindergarten room! I love the lego towers, I will do them with unifix cubes!

  4. It’s funny that you posted this. I just wrote an article last week about just this subject:

    We must be on the same wavelength:)

  5. meninheira says:

    It’s a fantastic post!! congratulations 🙂

  6. ZeroSum Ruler says:

    What a colorful post! As a high school teacher who went to elementary school in the early 1980s, I find the bear counters so strange. Sure, they’re cute, but so are puppies! I just don’t get it! All we did was memorize back then!

    I found your blog through a search for math manipulatives. I invented a new math manipulative for a bit older kids to help them with integer addition and subtraction, particularly between one positive and one negative number. It’s called the ZeroSum Ruler and you can see all about it on my blog at . It really helped my students (thesis page), actually decreasing their errors by 62% on a delayed retention quiz a month after the last of three activities. I’d like for more people to know about it.

    I don’t know about your district, but in Boston, negative numbers are allotted a total of 20 days: 4 in 3rd grade (the last 4 days of 3rd grade, that is), and 16 in 7th grade when the kids finally do problems like “3 – 8 =”. I developed this tool straight from a need to teach my algebra students how to solve equations, especially when one side of the equation goes negative (ie: solve for x: 25x + 16 = 3x + 9).

    I’d love it if you checked out the ZeroSum Ruler and gave me your feedback. I know it’s for kids a bit older, but I do think that it might be able to push negative numbers to an earlier grade because it makes them concrete. Happy Holidays!

  7. growinginpeace says:

    ZSR –

    I actually have a third grader at home…so I will be able to utilize it for her. I think I have a paypal account – have to check hubby, but for $5.50, I think that is a great price for something that would help a difficult concept to grasp.

    Actually, my youngest would love it if they had puppy counters…because she loves dogs so much!

    Basically, I think anything to get the younger kids, especially girls, interested in math sooner than later is the way to go.

    I’ll try to see if we still have an active paypal account and I’ll put in an order. If we don’t, it might take a while.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  8. Nice way to start the concept of number theory and mathematics for kids.

  9. growinginpeace says:

    Thanks 🙂

  10. Caroline says:

    Your site is absolutely amazing. I love all your montessori materials. Everything is so bright and pretty that it makes me want to work with it all!

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