Construct New Ideas Together and Learn Through Play
Puzzles, Manipulatives, and More
Toys like pattern blocks, geometric solids, or tangrams (anything concrete that can be viewed and handled by kids) allow students to construct their own understanding of mathematics. They help engage students, increasing their interest as they go. Playing with math toys involves exploration, discovery, and experimentation while encouraging discussion and communication skills. It also activates the senses— kids use sight and touch to break down concepts and make their way through problems.
Search a list of recommended toys. I have purposely selected ones I feel are especially effective for teaching math concepts and sparking kids’ interest. And, I am continually seeking out newly released products that make math fun.
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This puzzle, which includes ten tiles, challenges you to connect the tiles in order to build loops of different shapes and colors. With many different solutions, Tantrix can provide hours of experimentation and creativity…
With this cookie jar filled with cookies, children can develop their counting, subitizing (seeing how many are there without counting), and number recognition skills. Each cookie has raised chocolate chips so children can easily count the number of chocolate chips on the cookie. On the bottom side of each cookie is the matching numeral…
In this logic and spatial reasoning game, you must tackle the challenge cards to get the marble through the maze. There are 60 challenges in total, ranging from beginner level to expert; also included are a game grid, nine towers, one target piece, and three marbles. The toy not only builds logic and reasoning skills, but also planning skills as children take on each challenge…
IQ Fit is a great way to challenge kids while building spatial reasoning skills and flexible thinking. The object is to rotate the colored pieces to fit on the board and match the challenge shown in the accompanying booklet. With 120 different puzzles, ranging from easy to expert level, this toy is great for kids of many ages. Making it even trickier is that each piece is three-dimensional and can be used in different ways…
Math games are not just fun to play, they can also be a highly effective way to help your child, with a long list of benefits. Kids respond to learning when engaged, challenged, and enjoying their tasks. There is quite a difference when kids are active participants!...read more
As parents, you may have noticed less emphasis on algorithms and memorization in mathematics and more emphasis on "sense-making" since the time when we were kids in elementary school. A big piece of this process is using manipulatives-- toys that are used as teaching...read more
Children love stories. Parents and teachers can take advantage of this by using literature as a vehicle for teaching math and consolidating understanding. Children's literature can highlight concepts, act as a springboard to new math learning, stimulate discussion, or...read more
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