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Fun, Ingenious, and Unusual Math Resources & Ideas

Fun, Ingenious, and Unusual Math Resources & Ideas

Compiled By Fran Wisniewski,
Universal Preschool's Worldwide Ambassador

The following list of math resources may fall under the traditional math radar — however, they often work better for teaching math concepts than more familiar textbooks and workbooks. These resources, compiled from recommendations by homeschool parents, can be used with a variety of age and grade ranges — it simply depends on the learner's ability and interest.



  1. Make your own abacus!
  2. Make structures with toothpicks and marshmallows
  3. Inter-locking cubes and pattern blocks: good for teaching patterns, addition, subtraction, division, multiplications, volume, geometry and more.

Workbooks & Activity Books

  1. Mazes -- Use mazes for math (problem solving). There are books available for Pre-K to adult levels. Play online!
  2. "Calc-U-Draw" and "Calc-U-Color" -- Solve problems and then plot your answers or color the space according to a chart.Buki Books is the publisher and homeschool parents we consulted highly recommend anything they make.
  3. "Plotting Points" -- published by Instructional Fair available for grades 2-4 and 5-8. Kids will learn plotting and end up with graphic art when finished. Purchase in teachers supply stores or from Teachers Paradise.


  1. "Math Curse" by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. This book is about finding patterns in the world around you! These patterns are called Fibonacci. Great for ages 8+ (Adults will enjoy this book as well!) You'll find yourself looking for patterns in everything you do!
  2. "Real World Math for Hand-On Fun" by Cindy A Littlefield -- Learn how math fits into the real world with fun filled projects. Available at Amazon.com
  3. "Math Play" for Preschoolers put out by Williamson Publishing for ages 4-8.


  1. "Math Blaster" for ages 6-12. Available from Amazon.
  2. Any of the "JumpStart" Math programs.
  3. Algebra World: Gives a reason for learning algebra by showing how algebra fits into the real world for grades 6-High school.
  4. "Clue Finders Math Learning System" for ages 9-11.
  5. Soccer Math - Test your math skills as you fake out your opponents on the soccer field. For ages 7 to 14.

CDs, DVDs, & Online Videos


  1. Brain games and puzzles are great for logical thinking and problem solving. All ages can enjoy brain games.
  2. Kids (about ages 8+) can make mazes and puzzles and give them to friends to solve. Learn more about mazes!
  3. Catalog Math: Helps kids to learn real life math skills. What to do: Get a favorite catalog (we used American Girls, Oriental Trading, and toy catalogs), give a set budget, and challenge the kids to buy until they reach their limit. If they go over, they will need to deduct items, if they are not close enough to the dollar amount set, let them keep buying. As your kids get better at it, have them come within a certain dollar amount such as $25 including taxes and shipping and handling fees without going over. Great for ages 8-High school.

    Variation: Prepare a food budget: Use store flyers and ask your child to budget a meal for 1 day or 1 week with a certain dollar amount. Then go purchase the items and use the them the next day! Ages 9+


  1. "Tri-Ominoes": Played like Dominoes but with triangular tiles. Put out by Pressman Toys for ages 8+ but younger children can play with help, buy the game from Amazon, or play on-line
  2. SMATH: Math game that combines number and symbol tiles to form math equations. Pressman Toys ages 6+
  3. Rummikub: A sequencing tile game put out by Pressman Toys; played like the card game rummy. Games available for pre-K children with animals and older kids-adults with numbers.
  4. Math Dice comes with three 6-sided dice and two 12-sided dice; cotton drawstring bag and instruction booklet with lessons and examples for ages 8 to Adult.
  5. Head Full of Numbers Math Game for ages 7-12.
  6. Payday - The classic game of making and spending money! You'll make money every month, but you might spend it just as fast. For ages 8-12 years.
  7. Aha! Brainteaser Classics by ThinkFun Inc. Just when you think solving the puzzle is impossible, Aha! you discover the solution. Each brainteaser comes with 3 hint cards and solutions in case you get stuck. For ages 8 and up.
  8. Mighty Mind Educational Game by Briarpatch. Fun that builds skills! Mighty Mind prepares children to tackle the challenges ahead. It develops children's skills in problem-solving, creative thinking, counting, sorting, categorizing, spatial relationships, matching colors, shapes, and sizes. 36 months - 8 years.


  1. Gnarly Math: Sign-up for a bi-monthly math newsletter for ages 10-14 but older kids can benefit from it as well.
  2. National Library of Virtual Manipulatives: This site has math games, puzzles, and math manipulation such as an abacus, base 10 board, Venn diagrams, and much, much more Serves grades pre-K-12.
  3. Fun Mathematics Lessons by Cynthia Lanius: Lessons that are easy to use and that relate to real life. Don't let the cartoon nature of the site fool you! This site has lessons for pre-K aged children thru adults.

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