Math can be so fun when you have fun learning tools! Having math manipulatives kids can use to make learning hands on and fun is really the key to success in teaching math, in my opinion.
Here are some of my favorite math tools! I provided the links for you to see them directly on Amazon if you want to check them out – some links are affiliate links which means I get commission if you buy from the links, it’s no extra cost for you but I just wanted to let you know!
My favorite math tool is probably Unifix Cubes because you can use them as a hands on visual for almost every math concept.
They’re great for counting, adding, subtracting, balancing equations, fractions, gosh like everything!
Another math manipulative that you can use for almost every math concept are dominoes! I really recommend having a set of Double-Six Dominoes – if you get these, this is a great pack of Math Centers using Dominoes for the entire year from TpT to go along with these dominoes.
You also need DICE! There are hundreds of math games you can play with dice. Colorful dice are just way more fun so I like buying them in bulk like this 100 pack of colorful dice.
A kid favorite is Dice in Dice! They’re a great way to spruce up your math centers. Simply give kids a piece of paper and have them roll the dice and add the 2 numbers and write the addition sentence (big dice + little dice inside = answer) for a ton of fun practice. 🙂
Another math manipulative you’ll get a ton of use out of are red/yellow counters. They’re great for so many activities – making numbers, adding, subtracting, fractions, etc. I pretty much use them for everything!
Pattern blocks are also a kid favorite because they can make pictures from them and be super creative. They’re wonderful for your geometry unit, of course, but they’re also really fun (and educational) to simply play with!
Another great geometry math tool is geoboards. Kids love using rubber bands to build shapes on geoboards and there are many activities you can do with them.
When you teach 3D shapes, it’s really important to have actual 3D shapes students can hold and look at closely. These Geometric Solids are fantastic for that!
I also recommend bringing real life 3D shapes from your home as well as ask students to do the same. Explore how a can of soup is a cylinder, dice are cubes, balls are spheres, and so on.
Snap cubes are also wonderful for many math skills as well as simply building with since they connect on any side… which makes them also super fun to “play” with.
If you teach money, this pack of money manipulatives is great for learning the different coins.
Place value is a huge concept in math and a conceptual understanding of how numbers are made is so important. The more hands-on experience kids can get with base 10 blocks, the better they will understand numbers and how they are composed.
A great way to practice place value is by representing each school day during Calendar Math. This Calendar Math pocket chart is awesome to create your daily calendar lesson for you. There are great activities to do for calendar 🙂
Another great pocket chart to have for calendar math is this Hundreds Chart Pocket Chart. The numbers are nice and big for practicing counting to 100 each day as well as counting by 5s and 10s.
I love this so much more than a 100 Chart Poster because you can take a few numbers (or however many your students can handle) each day before calendar then asking them what’s missing.
It’s also nice to hang up a number line on your wall so students can see the number order in a linear fashion.
So that every student can show you what you know – instead of calling on individual students to tell you what the missing numbers are – point to the blank spot and ask students to think of what number is missing. Then have them write them on their dry erase board. If you don’t have a class set of dry erase boards for math, you definitely need them!
Kids LOVE using them and they’re great to ask kids a question, hide it in their lap, then lift it up (the bottom resting on their knees so you can see them all and they don’t hit others) to show you – super easy way to assess all your students at once!
Another things kids love is measuring objects with a bucket balance scale. They’re great for your measurement unit as well as teaching equality through 2 and 3 blocks weigh the same as 5 blocks… and even 3+5 = 7+1 once you get to balancing equations.
I also love having these clocks for learning time because kids can make the time on them that you tell them. It’s wonderful for small groups and to assess your students’ understanding of time.
Okay that’s all the math things I wanted to show you! I have a TON of other lists of things I love though (I told you I love making lists! :)) – check some of them out:
Best Back to School Read Alouds (and I have a ton of other book lists – use the drop down boxes at the top of this page to find them!)
Best Books by Behavior (great for the first few weeks of school)
I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Do you love these too? What are your math must haves?? Feel free to share this using the buttons below!
Want to save this post for later? Feel free to pin this image!