Top 5 math manipulatives for geometry

Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Editorial Team

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We all know the importance of geometry in our maths curriculum. But the scope of geometry is much more than just a math ‘topic’. And not just in math, it plays a crucial role in constructing chemical bonds as well.

Early adaptation of geometry through various ways is important as it familiarizes us with much more advanced concepts later in the future. The whole construction process sits on the ability of one’s expertise in geometry.

Geometry topics in early school generally stick to shapes and solids. With these basic concepts, Student’s mind is triggered to develop visual, descriptive, logical, and applied skills. Hence, it is obvious why practicing geometry on regular basis is really important.

Doesn’t matter if the kid is in elementary school, middle school, or high school, the topic must be introduced early so to make it easy for students to deal with advanced topics in later years. The best way to do it is to make it interactive. There are ample ways of doing it but the manipulatives are perfect for this job.

Manipulatives make learning math really interesting and enjoyable. Kids are intrigued and motivated by themselves to use these for learning. On-hands experience with manipulative helps kids construct physical models of abstract mathematical ideas.

Keeping this in mind, we’ve curated a list of the top 5 math manipulatives for excelling in geometry right from the beginning. Best way to get the maximum benefit out of these is to do practice in scheduled routine. Design some worksheets around and score them up.

1. Geometric Solids

geometric solids geomtery manipulatives

Geometric solids are probably the most common manipulative used in this aspect. This makes sense because the very thing you want to teach is what exactly geometry is based on. Kids must be introduced to the different solid shapes and their attributes first. Furthermore, it’s way more effective to experience it practically than in books or drawings.

There are a lot of products available online to choose from. The one that we recommend is the relational geometry solids by Learning Resources. As this manipulative is made from clear plastic, Kids can see the number of sides, and lines that go into the structure. It’s a good learning experience for beginners in geometry.

The product consists of a set of 14 clear plastic geometric shapes that include spheres, cones, cubes, rectangles, cylinders, pyramids, and polyhedral. To make it more interactive, the geometric shapes are equipped with removable stoppers. Learners can interact with it by doing activities such as filling it with rice, sand, or dry fill beads.

2. Shape Construction Set

shape construction set box kit geometry manipulative

There is a reason why lego bricks are used as one of the most preferred toys among kids. It is not just your other indoor game or activity but much more than that. It develops fine motor, creativity, and planning skills. These are some important skills required behind a kid’s success in geometry as well.

With a somewhat similar inspiration, Curious Minds Busy Bags made a construction set that aims to take your knowledge in 2D and 3D shapes to the next level. It has been made specifically to be used as a geometry manipulative. Kids can make different shapes including,  square, oval, circle, right triangle, isosceles triangle, diamond, half circle, obtuse triangle, arrow, rectangle, parallelogram, and trapezoid, sphere, pyramid, pentagon and hexagon with other 3D shapes.

A set contains 20 professionally printed double-sided pattern cards. For 3D structures, There are 40 connecting balls (.75″) with 24 curved sticks (3.75″), and 80 connecting sticks in 4 sizes and colors Orange (1.25″) Purple (2.5″) Yellow (3.5″) Red (5.25″). So, there is plenty of room for you to try different shapes.

3. Exploragons

exploragons geometry manipulatives

Exploragons are on-hands manipulatives for creating and analyzing various geometric shapes. With a similar aim of construction set, Exploragons let you explore and build strong geometry concepts. These manipulative tools have flexible sticks that can snap together and gives you the freedom to try a number of polygons.

A set contains 8 different lengths and colors, and a protactor to create and measure a variety of angles. A total of 76 exploragons are available with  8 – Blue (15cm), 8 – Orange (14.14cm), 8 – Purple (12.24cm), 8 – Yellow (10cm), 8 – Red (8.66cm), 12 – Lime (7.07cm), 12 – Pink (5cm), 12 – Green (2.5cm) ones. Other than that 4 clear protactors are also provided.

Exploragons are quite popular with fairly positive reviews. Parents say that their kids love building 2D shapes on this. They preferred it most for the practical approach to building a strong geometry foundation in kids. Teachers also find it very useful for incorporating the STEAM education approach in the classroom.

4. Scales And Protactors

scales and protactors geometry manipulatives

The first and foremost important lesson in a training session is to familiarize yourself with the tools involved. Similarly, understanding geometry demands understanding its tools first. Kids have to experience what goes into the topic and what they are dealing with.

Tools like scales and protactors are great tools to be used as manipulatives. Some activities can be arranged as well by teachers with it. Important concepts of geometry such as measurement, angles, circles, and mensuration are taught through this.

The good thing about this is the very chance of its availability in your geometry box, so you won’t have to spend money on it. It’s a relatively easy way of learning than other products. These tools already lie around the house but if you want then you should take a look at the Sparco plastic protactor with a 6-inch scale attached.

5. Magnetic Circle Fractions

magnetic circle fractions geometry manipulatives

The circle is probably the most important topic of advanced geometry that we face in middle and high school. The importance of these concepts is more pronounced in competitive exams where you have to put logical thinking and beat the time race.

Thus, it becomes really valuable to have on-hands experience with the concepts of circle way before jumping into the advanced concepts. There are several products in the market achieving this aim. However, do note that not all work for all age groups. We require on-hands manipulative of circles that work for early learners, especially kids in elementary school or preschoolers.

Magnetic Circle Fractions by Inspirational Classrooms is perfect for this job. This manipulative introduces the relationship of angles and fractions with the circle. These are the beginner’s concepts that are important for building strong fundamentals in kids. Teachers can arrange activities and worksheets to find out what fractions are covering what part of the circle or something similar.


Geometry is the science of shapes and sizes. Thus, a 2-dimensional paper cannot bring this 3 Dimensional phenomenon to life. Hence, the use of manipulatives can be a wonderful aid to help your child get comfortable with the concepts of geometry, while at the same time enjoying himself or herself. As they say, when knowledge becomes fun, learning becomes a lifelong process.

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