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Using math manipulatives with preschoolers can be a lot of fun! They make learning and practicing all of those early math skills a lot easier as well.
If you’re just getting started on your home preschool journey however, buying them can put quite a dent in your budget. But if you’ve got a few craft supplies and a little bit of time, you can make some yourself!
You could even get the kids to help you! Take an afternoon and a few of these DIY math manipulatives ideas and before the day is out you’ll have a ton of new ways to enjoy your math practice!
These are pretty much as simple as they come and are great for counting, one to one correspondence, fine motor practice, and so much more!
Pattern blocks are so much fun to play with and with all of the free printable pattern block mats you can find online, the learning never ends. Rather than spending a ton of money on plastic or wooden ones that, if your house is anything like mine, occasionally get lost, make a set of your own using a few sheets of craft foam and this free printable template!
The number of things that you could use pasta for, well, it’s pretty limitless. Practice counting, one to one correspondence, simple addition, sorting colors and sizes, and so much more! Dye your pasta with a little Kool-Aid drink mix and they become a lot more fun!
Working on shapes with your toddler or preschooler? Let them construct shapes of their own with this fun manipulative! Once your child is a little bit older, you can easily reuse these craft sticks to introduce and work on symmetry!
These super simple DIY beads are not only a great manipulative but they make a fantastic tool for working on fine motor skills as well! Just like the pasta, these can be used to practice sorting, counting, use them for measuring, and so much more!
Want a set of base ten blocks for your home classroom but don’t want to shell out the money? This DIY version is easier on you wallet and they’re super simple to put together!
Teaching your child about greater than and less than can be a bit tricky at times and having a hands-on way to explore this math concept can help to alleviate some of their confusion. The Greater Gator is an adorable way to work on mastering this skill!
More Math Manipulatives
Besides the ones above, you probably already have quite a few things lying around your house that you could use for math practice! Things like:
- Toy cars
- LEGO bricks or Duplo blocks
- Cotton balls
- Pom poms
Just to name a few :) There are so many possibilities that I bet if you took a walk around your home, you’d find a ton of things you could use in place of store bought manipulatives and you’d be saving yourself a little money in the process!