Ultimate List of Printable Math Manipulatives & Games

by Jimmie Lanley on April 13, 2011

Charlotte Mason espoused using concrete objects for math lessons, and I totally agree. I know that Sprite learned math concepts much faster and with more enjoyment when there was a hands-on element (rather than mere numbers on a page). She used math manipulatives all the way into fifth grade, and I admit that we still have some math cubes on the shelf just in case. Also, I made a deliberate effort to keep the math “toys” accessible to her for free play at any time.

When you need a math manipulative right now, these free printable templates can come to your rescue. Although not nearly as sturdy as a purchased wooden or plastic set, paper manipulatives can serve their purpose well.

I recommend this article — How to Make the Most of Math Manipulatives by Marilyn Burns — to help you get the biggest educational value from your hands-on activities. (This article is written from a classroom perspective; so adjust as necessary for the homeschool environment.)

I’ve listed what you can find at each site in case you’re looking for something specific.

1.  Hand Made Manipulative Instructions (html)

  • Pattern Blocks
  • Base-Ten Blocks
  • Base-Five Blocks
  • XY-Blocks – Set of X, X2, XY, Y, and Y2 blocks.
  • Attribute Blocks
  • Rods
  • Color Tiles
  • Graph Paper

2.  Math Printables for Home (all files in both pdf and doc formats)

  • Dot Paper
  • Geoboard Paper
  • Graphing Paper
  • Pattern Blocks Grid
  • Hundreds Chart
  • Base Ten Blocks
  • Place Value Chart
  • Nets for 3D shapes
  • Pattern Blocks

3.  Houghton Mifflin Math (pdf)

This site has so much it can be overwhelming. Here’s how to navigate to the printable manipulatives: choose a grade level, then Teaching Tools. Repeat this process with various grade levels to find different printable games and hands-on manipulatives. To make it easier, here are the links to each grade.

4.  SEN Teacher (pdf)

  • nets (3D models)
  • clocks
  • number cards
  • coin worksheets
  • coin cards
  • coin fans
  • math spinner
  • coin dominoes
  • volume cubes
  • place value cards
  • number lines
  • graphs

5. Kentucky Center for Mathematics (most files in both pdf and doc formats)

  • compass
  • hundreds chart
  • numeral track
  • fraction rulers

6. Donna Young (pdf)

  • math paper
  • graph paper
  • number lines
  • money and coins

7. Manipulatives for Upper Elementary– grades 4-6 (most files in both pdf and html formats)

  • Geometric Solids
  • Base Ten Blocks
  • Geoboard
  • Colour Tiles
  • Addition Mat
  • Tangrams
  • Pattern Blocks
  • Blocks & Cubes
  • Isometric Dot Paper

8. Mathematics Enhancement Program (pdf)

  • Number Cards
  • Number Lines
  • Sign Cards
  • Shape Cards
  • Shape Cards with dots

9.  Printable Math Game Boards (pdf & doc)

  • shapes
  • addition
  • fractions

10.  Game Boards at Jefferson County Schools (ppt & doc)

game boards and card templates for creating your own games

11.  Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop (pdf)

printable games for grades 1-5

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