Looking for an easy way to provide visual, hands on math tools for your kids without spending a fortune? This FREE set of printable math manipulatives is just what you need.
As we gear up for possibly the strangest, hardest back to school season any of us have ever seen, there are unique needs for teachers and students. As I discussed things with a teacher friend, I asked how I could help her prepare and meet the needs of students and one struggle she mentioned (that I’ve heard from so many others!) is that even if students can go back to school in person, they can’t share supplies. There will be no passing around the base ten blocks or fraction tiles. No working together to model problems with ten frames and counting bears. To help overcome this, I created a collection of printable math manipulatives so every child can have their own set.
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Printable Math Manipulatives for Kids
Why do kids need math manipulatives and visuals? Do these actually help, or does it just create busy work?
First of all, recent research has shown us that our brain uses visual processing portions of the brain when solving math problems. This is true even if we don’t draw a picture or use a visual diagram of some sort.
So I believe the more we can help kids create a library of visuals for their brain to use and draw from, the better they will be able to process, make connections & retain the math they learn.
Second, when kids are just beginning to learn concepts, there are so many math ideas that are very abstract. They’re not yet developmentally ready to jump to abstract ideas. So using a manipulative or visual model to show them the math is a tremendous stepping stone to connecting to the abstract concept.
Depending on the math skill you’re introducing or exploring, there are dozens of different manipulatives you might use.
Sometimes, this might be a large, fancy set of blocks like these.
Other times, it might simply be a number path or number line.
No matter what your needs are, I am sure you will find a printable version that you can use to make sense of math with your students in this printable math manipulatives set.
There are so many resources included here, so you can print only the options you need for your students. This includes:
- Base Ten Blocks
- Number Paths (1-100)
- Hundred Charts
- Number Lines (6 labeled, 2 blank)
- Place Value Mats + Tiles for Whole Numbers
- Decimal Place Value Mat + Tiles (tenths + hundredths)
- Five frame
- Ten frames (2 versions)
- Number Bonds (2 versions)
- Blank Multiplication Tables (2 versions)
- Multiplication Fact Bookmarks
- Fraction Tiles
In addition, each page is labeled so you know what the manipulative is and how you might use it with your students.
It also printable name labels in color and black and white so you can label each students’ set. (And no one will be sharing their supplies accidentally!)
Assembling the Printable Math Toolbox
I designed the whole kit so that it can fit into a plastic pencil case. I purchased ours at Target, but they typically have them at the dollar store or Wal-Mart as well.
However, you could just as easily store each individual set in a plastic, zip lock bag.
You may also want some paper fasteners like these to assemble the clock and multiplication facts bookmarks.
I simply punched holes in the corner of the bookmarks, stacked them together in order, and used the fastener to hold them together. I could then easily flip through the different sets as a reference.
For the clock, I punched a small hole in the center of the clock and the end of each hand and then stacked them on top of each other. Then I inserted the fastener to hold it all together. I was then able to move the hands around the clock easily.
Lastly, there are two multiplication tables included. One is the whole table (12×12), the other is split into 4 sections so that the individual sections will fit in a pencil box. Print whichever version works better for your students.
Also note that I left these tables blank so that students could fill them in (as they learn the facts or as a review). Then, they can keep the table to use as a reference.
Once all the materials are printed and assembled, put it together in a pencil box or zip lock bag and add the students name to it.
This is optional, but it might also be good to add a couple of dice and a set of pencils. Then you’re students are all set to explore any math concept!
I hope this is a useful resource for you!
Of course if you prefer, you might also like this collection of virtual math manipulatives. This includes online manipulatives that students can use on their computer or tablet with nothing to print out.
If you teach geometry, you might like this set of printable 3D shape nets to build a variety of 3D shapes.
Lastly, if you’re looking for recommendations for manipulatives to purchase, see my top picks in this post.
To grab this printable math set, go to my shop at the link below!
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