When your child is a visual learner, doesn’t “get” math, or you just want to help them develop solid number sense, free math printables that make math hands-on can make all the difference.
I’m a big fan of math tools, also known as manipulatives. It is mind-boggling how quickly a child can learn and understand a difficult concept, when they can see a picture or touch blocks.
Our bodies and senses can often understand something more quickly than our minds can make sense of an abstract idea. This is especially true for children up to age 12.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite math tools as free math printables that you can download and use with your child right away. Here we go…
Free Math Printables for K-5
These are the essentials, in my book, for making math hands-on at home or in the classroom. It’s a short list, but worth having
Hundred Chart: A hundred chart is a simple little tool with 1,001 uses! Use it help with counting, addition, subtraction, odd and even numbers, place value and more.
Place Value Mat: Make a number by putting counters in the hundreds, tens, and ones columns to help kids visualize place value. Use it with base ten blocks, coins (pennies, dimes, dollars) or other place value counters.
Base Ten Blocks: Include units (single cubes), rods (rows of 10 cubes), and flats (large squares with 100 cubes). Make numbers with these on the place value mat to help kids with place value, comparing numbers, adding and subtracting and more.
Printable Number Line 1-100: Helps kids count and skip count, add, subtract, multiply, compare numbers, and understand rounding.
Integer Number Line: Helps kids understand positive and negative numbers.
Printable Multiplication Chart: Helps kids learn their times tables and find patterns in multiplication.
Printable Fraction Strips: The best way I’ve found to help kids understand how fractions work. Use fraction strips for comparing, adding, and subtracting fractions, and for finding a common denominator.
Pattern Blocks: Great for geometry, fractions, multiplication, measurement, and more. Kind of a pain in the butt to cut out, and it’s worth just buying a set on Amazon, but here they are if you’re up for the challenge.
Printable Tangrams: For building spatial intelligence and just for fun. Print two sets, and make a picture for a friend to copy. There are also lots of great books and puzzles with pictures kids can make from tangrams.
Making the Most of Free Math Printables
- Print them on card stock. Print on a heavy paper to make them last longer.
- Cut apart and color. Fraction strips, tangrams, pattern blocks and base 10 blocks can be colored, cut apart, and stored in envelopes.
- Make them write-on, wipe-off. Some printables, like a hundred chart or number line, you will use over and over again. Slip these into a clear page protector and write on them with a dry erase marker to give it a reusable wipe-off surface.
- Upgrade your favorite math tools. Some will be fine as a printable, but base ten blocks, pattern blocks, and fraction strips may be worth investing in for a more durable resource.
If you’re looking into option #4 for some longer-lasting math tools and would like to know what I recommend, here are the math tools I personally use when I teach kids.
Looking for free math printables to accompany the Miss Brain’s Cool Math Games books?Visit Miss Brain Math Printables.