Mathematics Manipulatives and Ancillaries
in a school, community center, or home-schooling home
Suggested by Fran Endicott Armstrong, Ph.D.

These materials are the basic sets of math manipulatives and related ancillaries suggested by Fran Endicott Armstrong, Ph.D. that she would use to set up a self-paced Hands-On Math Lab to deal with the following areas of mathematics:

Arithmetic operations (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of)

Whole numbers (Cuisenaire Rods®, Pegboards, Base 10 Blocks)
Fractions ("Fractions with Pattern Blocks")
Decimals (Base 10 Blocks)
Integers (i.e., the whole numbers and their opposites or negatives)
(Eli's regular and magic peanuts)

Basic Percent Concepts ("The Pegboard Book--Using Pegboards to
Develop Number Sense and Percent Concepts")

Perimeter, area, volume, and surface area ("From Here to There with
Cuisenaire Rods." This book also features as a bonus a delightful lead-in to the use of a variable in algebra.)

Basic Algebra (Hands-On Equations® and Algebra Lab Gear®)


After one becomes comfortable and competent with the following, one might want to expand further with additional ancillaries or acquire additional set of manipulatives for further development of mathematics subjects such as geometry, probability, and statistics.

1.) Cuisenaire® Rods

74 rods in a tray
I suggest wooden rods.

Cuisenaire Dale Seymour Publications
#010290 6 trays of wooden rods

#034070 "Idea Book for Cuisenaire® Rods at the Primary Level" by Patricia S. Davidson

For very young children, you may want a set of Jumbo Rods
#010110 Set of 56 Jumbo Rods which match the colors of Cuisenaire® Rods but with a ratio in volume of 8 to 1. Keep in mind, however, that the ancillaries fit the regular rods

#030030 "Cuisenaire® Alphabet Book" by Maria Rizzo Marolda
$ 9.50

#034080 Pupil and Teacher Set for "One-Digit Addition and Subtraction with Cuisenaire® Rods" by Patricia S. Davidson

#030040 "Picture Puzzles with Cuisenaire® Rods" by Patricia S. Davidson and Jeffrey Sellon
$ 9.50

#030320 "Multiplication and Division with Rod Patterns and Graph Paper" by Patricia S. Davidson and Robert E. Willcutt
$ 9.95

#030310 "From Here to There with Cuisenaire® Rods: Area, Perimeter and Volume" by Patricia S. Davidson and Robert E. Willcutt
$ 9.95

Creative Publications
#30121 Set of 10 Corner Pieces (use 6 corner pieces with Cuisenaire® Rods and 4 with Algebra Lab Gear)
$ 4.45

2.) Pegboards 5 sets

One set consists of two 10 hole by 10 hole plastic pegboards and 200 beaded pegs (33 or 34 of each of six colors) in a plastic container.

Ideal School Supply Company
#36911 Beaded Pegs: Class Set
(10 pegboards and 1000 beaded pegs in 6 colors)

Rubbermaid Servin’ Savers Square #3871 1.4 U.S. QT 1.32 L
5 @ $2.99

Endicott Publications
"The Pegboard Book--Using Pegboards to Develop Number Sense and Percent Concepts" by Fran Endicott Armstrong, Ph.D.
Available in the Year 2000


3.) Pattern Blocks-1 bucket

Pattern Block Templates- 4
A bucket of Pattern Blocks consists of
25 yellow hexagons, 25 orange squares, 50 red trapezoids,
50 green triangles, 50 blue rhombuses, and 50 tan rhombuses.
I recommended wooden pattern blocks.

Cuisenaire Dale Seymour Publications
#034785 Pattern Blocks wood

#034771 Pattern Block Template
4 @ $3.95

#22428 "Fractions with Pattern Blocks" by Mathew E. Zullie


4.) Base Ten Blocks

Transparent red units, longs and flats that link together.

Ideal School Supply
Clear View® Base Ten Blocks
#7582 Red cubes, 100
$ 4.95
#7584 Red rods, 50
$ 4.95
#7586 Red flats, 10

Creative Publications
#32083 Thousandth Chips, Bag of 500

#10965 Understanding Place Value: Addition & Subtraction binder

#10966 Understanding Place Value: Multiplication & Division binder

#32080 "The Decimal Factory" Activity Binder by Linda Holden Charles and Micaelia Randolph Brummett

Rubbermaid HiTop Storage Boxes 1.9 U.S. Gal/7.2 L
$ 4.00

5.) Eli’s Magic and Regular Peanuts

Endicott Publications
"Eli's Quandary--Teaching Arithmetic Operations on Integers (whole numbers and their opposites)" by Fran Endicott Armstrong, Ph.D.
(includes directions for making the peanuts manipulatives using
plastic bingo chips)
$ 25.00


6.) Hands-On Equations® Learning System 10 sets

Borenson and Associates
Teacher’s demonstration balance and game pieces, ten
student kits, classroom worksheet reproduction rights.


7.) Algebra Lab Gear®

Creative Publications
#33358 Algebra Lab Gear® Complete Set

Includes a Student Pair Set and 3-D Algebra Lab Gear
#33320 "The Algebra Lab--Middle School: Exploring Algebra Concepts with Manipulatives" $28.95

See Set of 10 Corner Pieces under (1.) Cuisenaire® Rods. Put 4 corner pieces with the Algebra Lab Gear set and 6 with the Cuisenaire® Rods.

8.) Crayola Washable Classic Colors (8 thick) markers

9.) Highlighters

(Note: a green highlighter can be used to match the
green (3) Cuisenaire® rod and the green Crayola marker can be used to
match the dark green (6) Cuisenaire® rod.)


1.) Mancala

Creative Publications #40015

2.) The 24 Game

Creative Publications #40007
(There are also the following editions of the 24 Game: Add/Subtract, Multiply/Divide, Fractions Primer, Fractions, Decimals, Algebra)

3.) Battleship

4.) Master Mind


1.) "Mathematicians Are People, Too Volume 1"

Cuisenaire® Dale Seymour #01032

2.) "Mathematicians Are People, Too Volume 2"

Cuisenaire® Dale Seymour #21326

3.) "Africa Counts: Number and Pattern in African Culture"

by Claudia Zaslavsky
Cuisenaire® Dale Seymour #22249


Borenson and Associates
P.O. Box 3328
Allentown, PA 18106
Phone: 610 398-6908
Fax: 610 398-7863

Creative Publications
5623 W. 115th Street
Alsip, IL 60803
Phone: 800 624-0822
Fax: 800 624-0821

Cuisenaire® Dale Seymour Publications
P.O. Box 5026
White Plains, NY 10602-5026
Phone: 800 872-1100
Fax: 914 328-5487

Endicott Publications
9123 Vasel Drive
St. Louis MO 63123-4515

Ideal--Instructional Fair Publishing Group
PO Box 1650
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Phone: 800 845-8149
Fax: 800 453-2253

Some of these manipulatives and ancillaries are available in St. Louis from
The Learning Center
4504 Westminster Place
St. Louis MO 63108
Phone ahead 361-1908

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St. Louis Community College at Meramec
11333 Big Bend Boulevard, St. Louis, MO  63122-5799
Phone: 314-984-7500 | TDD: 314-984-7704
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Updated 11/1/99