How to Implement Manipulatives in Your Classroom


Manipulatives are physical, educational toys that are used to support learning. Providing learners with physical manipulatives during learning allows them to visualize their learning in a 3D space.


  • Learners can learn more actively when they have manipulatives than when learning through instructor-centered direct instruction tactics.
  • It helps learners who need to visualize the information they are learning.
  • The creation of physical models helps learners to form mental models (“cognitive schemata”).


  • It can be expensive to provide enough education materials for all learners in the classroom.
  • Providing learners with manipulatives can distract them from the task. Strong classroom management skills are required.


  1. Base tens are cubes that can be bundled into singles, groups of ten, groups of one hundred, and groups of 1,000 to help learners visualize the decimal system of counting.
  2. Colored beads can be used to help learners in early childhood learn to recognize patterns.
  3. Froebel’s Gifts are nine manipulative toys that learners can utilize to solve developmentally appropriate puzzles.
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