# Ways to USE Unifix Cubes | Math Manipulative

**Math Manipulatives**

My daughter needs a hands on strategy to aide her in Mathematics, her least favorite subject. I have plenty of manipulatives around our classroom, but her favorite go-to manipulative seems to be the Unifix Cubes.

**Unifix Cubes**

Unifix cubes are colored, interlocking blocks. We use the Unifix cubes for counting, patterns, basic operations, probability, graphing, sorting and measurement. Using the Unifix cubes really helps my daughter visually. The cubes represent the numbers in her equations or problems and aide her in understanding the necessary procedure for figuring out the math problem{s}.

**Counting Activities **

The interlocking cubes are useful for counting.

**Sorting**

The most basic concept of sorting colors is a snap with Unifix Cubes. You can also sort by number of cubes.

**Math Patterns**

We use the cubes in a game to create patterns. I show a pattern and hide it and she needs to recreate it for me from memory. In addition, we use patterns to learn skip-counting. Another pattern exercise is to select an A-B pattern, A-B-C pattern, A-B-A-B pattern . . . really any pattern you can dream up. Like Simon with Unifix.

**Equality - Basic Facts **

Select a sum and build a tower of cubes to that number. Have your child determine the different ways to add the sum using different colored cubes. This activity will build a foundation for number sense, addition, and subtraction.

**Odd and Even Numbers**

If each cube has a buddy, the number is even. If one cube is left out, the number is odd.

**Estimating Numbers**

Practice estimates by picking up cubes and 'estimating' how many you selected. One hand selection, two hand selection, sibling selection, parent selection.

**Addition - Subtraction **

The concept of addition is putting together numbers to form a greater number. Simply give your child a problem and let them use the cubes to "add". The concept of subtraction is taking apart numbers to form a smaller number.

**Skip Counting **

Unifix Cubes come with 100 cubes divided into ten different colors. You can learn to skip count from two's to ten's with the colors available.

**Multiplication**

Once you have simple addition, subtraction and skip counting down, you can ease right into Multiplication because Multiplication is repeated addition. Select 30 cubes, colors are not important and simply make stacks of cubes using the number selected to count to. Practice math facts, one to five using fingers and cubes. Place a cube on three fingers of one hand. This represents three groups of 1 {3 X 1 = 3}. Place a second cube on each finger, representing 3 groups of two {3 X 2 = 6}. And so on practicing up to 10.

**Perfect Squares**

Use the cubes to show the meaning of a perfect square. Use a grid to show how 3 rows of 3, 3 X 3 = 9, create a perfect square.

**Place Value **

When you are teaching place value, make sets of 10 unifix cubes and leave other cubes separated as ones.

**Fractions **

The cubes are perfect for developing the concept of a fraction. A child can easily understand the concept of numerator and denominator. Build a line of ten cubes using two colors. Ask what fraction is blue and what fraction is yellow.

Unifix cubes are certainly versatile little things. Whether you are a teacher, homeschooler, or a parent looking for a way to make math homework easier to understand, you'll definitely want to pick up a set of these colorful cubes!

**About Tiaras & Tantrums:** Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family lifestyle photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.