I was totally inspired the other day by Math Coach's Corner DIY Rekenreks. I decided to make some, but I didn't have the foam paper to make that version. I did, however, have doilies! I thought that instead of the teacher making the Rekenreks the kids could decorate and make their own.
They are super easy to make and you can even make them for different themes too...
I bet you could make a bat one for Halloween, a decorated egg for spring, etc.
These math tools are really neat! It would be used mostly in First grade and Kindergarten, but even kids a bit older can use them if they don't have math concepts 1-20 mastered yet. I know for myself, when I think with mental math I am always thinking about how numbers are close to a 5 or 10.
Also on Math Coach's Corner she shared about the non-profit group The Math Learning Center and mentioned a free PDF booklet of activities to use Rekenreks. You can go through Math Coach's Corner or follow the link here.
Other than this type of manipulative, I love to use everyday objects... food, pencils, balls, you name it and it can be used to talk about math.
What manipulatives do you enjoy teaching with?