Are your children struggling to understand various math concepts? Math manipulatives might be your answer to help them understand math better.
While your kids can do math worksheets, sometimes using manipulatives to do math can make the greatest difference in helping your child develop their math skills.
Videos, article, and a podcast episode about using math manipulatives can be found below.
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What is a Manipulative?
A manipulative is simply a tool or object that you use to help with teaching or learning.
Basic Math Manipulatives
If your children are elementary age, most of their math can be done with a piece of paper, pencil, dice, counting blocks, and a ruler.
Whether you need some math manipulatives to help with curriculum, you lean toward unschooling, or you just need to buy some time until you figure out what you’re doing with homeschooling, these are items you won’t regret buying.
By the way, many of these items make great toys for older kids. However, use caution because some of the items can be choking hazards for young children.
Using Math Manipulatives to Help Your Children Learn
Tenzi Dice are the Best Dice
Sure, you can use basic dice, but the dice we recommend are extra-special. Tenzi dice come in groups of ten and in a wide variety of colors. You can even buy a pack of 100 colorful dice.
There’s also a card pack with lots of fun and educational ideas. Think outside of the box, and you can do so much with this game.
Tenzi is a fun dice game that’s fun for both adults and kids.
What Do You Do with an Abacus?
An abacus is a great way to help your children learn to count, but they can also learn to add, subtract, multiply, and divide by using an abacus.
How to Use an Abacus
Watch the video below to learn how to use an abacus.
We recommend getting one of the following abacuses.
- Classic Wooden Abacus. This abacus is intended to stand upright. We like that the beads are split into fives on each rail. This makes learning to count by fives simple.
- Learning Resources 2-Color Desktop Abacus. This abacus can lay flat on a table and it’s easy to store with other math manipulatives. This abacus also has beads that are split into fives on each rail.
- Find another abacus on Amazon. If you prefer another style of abacus, there are plenty available on Amazon.
This might be simple, but it’s easily overlooked. You can teach a lot of math concepts with graph paper. For younger children, you’ll want to get paper with bigger squares. People who write with large lettering may also prefer graph paper with bigger squares.
- Basic loose leaf graph paper.
- Basic graph paper in a composition book.
- Graph paper with larger squares in a composition notebook.
- Find other graph paper on Amazon.
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Counting Blocks – Math Link Cubes
We like these counting blocks because they are colorful and snap together. Each color comes in a group of ten.
- These counting block math link cubes have more than 25,000 reviews and a 5 star rating on Amazon.
- If you prefer something different, then you can look for other counting block math link cubes on Amazon.
Math U See Blocks
While the math cubes that we shared above are great, we believe that Math U See blocks are one of the best investments you can make as your child is learning math concepts. These blocks are designed to help a child learn place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
The Math U See blocks help a child see, feel, and do math. It’s important to use as many senses as possible to help a child understand the abstract concepts of mathematics. You will likely use your block nearly daily for many years.
Playing With Money
While we seem to be heading toward a cashless society, if you want your children to understand the value of money, then you’ll certainly want to teach them how cash and coins work. It’s important to turn the abstract idea of money into something children can see and touch.
Here are three ways to teach your kids about money.
- Use Real Money. It might sound crazy, but yes, use real money. Put some cash and coins in with your school supplies and let the kids count it.
- Use Fake Money. Spend your hard earned cash to buy some fake money. Clearly, the advantage of this is that your kids can really play with it. You could even buy two packages and keep one with school supplies and the other with play items. You can buy fake money here.
- Play Money Games. We’re not suggesting that you take your kids to the casino, but maybe it’s time to play Monopoly or Life or Money Bags.
Do Your Kids Have a Learning Disability?
You might find the video below helpful if your child has a learning disability.
How do you teach your children to tell time when there are fewer and fewer analog clocks? Is it even important anymore?
At HomeSchool ThinkTank, we think that learning to tell time is still important.
When kids learn to tell time, then they can actually read a real clock. In addition, they’ll use previous concepts that they have learned, like counting by fives.
You can look on Amazon for a variety of educational clocks for kids However, we’ve found two learning clocks that we prefer. You may want to purchase both learning clocks.
- This educational clock is more like a toy, but your children will be able to play with it while learning how to tell time.
- This educational clock is flat with an easy to write on surface. It’s easy to keep with your school supplies.
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Educational & Parenting Articles & Podcast Episodes for You
- Fun math centered games for your family.
- Different types of homeschool math curriculum.
- Learn about unschooling.
- Explore more styles of homeschooling
- Discover more educational and parenting resources on our blog.
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