Manipulatives Around the House

Here are just a few items that can be found around the house that work great for counters in primary level math programs–without spending a lot of money for a kit of manipulatives:

* Pennies, Dimes, and Dollars

* A clock made from a plastic picnic plate or paper plate

* Raisins

* Tableware–Knives, Forks, and Spoons

* Dried Beans

* Craft Sticks

* Small plastic toy animals

* Buttons

* Beads

* Barrettes

* Plastic Bread Tabs

* Orange Juice Can Tops

* Milk Jug Caps

* Egg cartons and plastic eggs

* Toy Rings

* Small Twigs

* Fish Crackers

 I must add that while there are unlimited manipulatives to be found easily wherever we go, there are certain manipulatives that accurately demonstrate mathematical concepts and principles that are more challenging to create a home-made duplicate.  My favorites are:  Place Value (Base Ten) Blocks, Attribute Blocks, Two-sided counters or green and red counting chips with a simple balance and/or little ziplock bags.

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