View Full Version : math manipulatives

06-25-2004, 09:36 AM
Hi, Ladies!

I haven't posted in a while, but I "lurk" fairly often! It's good to see so many names from abcteach. Amanda, thank you for making a special spot just for homeschoolers!

Here's my question: What have you used for math manipulatives? Is it enough to use the
Duplos and Legos my son already has, as well as popsicle sticks, jumbo straws and other
odds and ends I've picked up? Or have you found store bought math manipulatives to be
better? I'm wondering how much I should invest in them, how long my ds will need
them, etc. He's 6 years old and will be in first grade this fall. So far, we've used his hot
wheels and the above mentioned items and it's worked fine. I use two colors of Duplo
blocks for example, to illustrate addition and subtraction problems. It's worked great so
far. I live overseas, so I need to order things ahead from the States, unless I find
something similar here. Since ds is our only child, I want to invest funds wisely. I get
carried away sometimes and end up with mistakes in my school closet!

Thanks for your input!



06-25-2004, 02:04 PM
I also use buttons, but again that's just stuff you have around the house. Oh, and I like tanagrams!

We also like to estimate/count/sort/etc. fun stuff like jelly beans and M&M's. You can do all kinds of fun math with them. If you get candy at Halloween, we sort all our candy into whatever catagories, sub-sort them (ie: into candy bars, then specifically what KIND of candy bars), and graph them. This is often a several day project, but the kids love doing it!

Really you don't need to invest a lot of money on manipulatives. If you have the money, that's great. I wish I had a Judy Clock, but it isn't in my budget! Just do lots of counting, comparing, etc. Yuo can also make your own flash cards using stickers. You can get small round stickers that follow a specific theme at Teacher Stores (or Staples, etc.) that have about a hundred in a package. There's about six different designs. These make wonderful addition cards, and having him make them himself is part of the project.

06-25-2004, 03:23 PM
Thanks, Jackie!

I like tangrams, too! We have a magnetic one and a little one ds was given on an airplane.

I like the idea of using stickers to make flashcards! I've got tons of those little circle types. :o This will put them to good use.