How to Teach Fractions with Manipulatives

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Last week, Mavi and I got a little bit of time to work on fractions.  I've been wanting to do this with him but we seldom have some time together because of Vito.  So it took us around 3 days to complete the activities.  

Fractions can be very intimidating to kids. Especially the fact that the numbering is quite different from that of a conventional number.  But with proper manipulatives, and presentation, this can be a very interesting topic... and fun too!

In this case, I used my son's favourite pita bread to present fractions.  You may use a paper, a bar of chocolate or any favourite thing or toy that can be divided.

What is a fraction? 
Fraction is basically a part of whole, and each part must have an equal size.  Here I divided the pita bread into four.  You can ask your child the shape it created for a little bit of geometry lesson :)  

How to write fractions?
So now, the whole (1) has now 4 equal parts.  You can write this as 4/4 (this is a whole).  Now Mavi wants to eat 1 part, thus we can say that he eats 1 out of 4 equal parts.  And I showed Mavi how to write that part, 1/4.  

1/4 means 1 out of 4 equal parts.

What fraction of the circle is shaded?

As we move on, Mavi practised how to write fractions.  We used our fraction pies for this activity. So this is Mavi counting the fraction that is NOT black.

Similarly, I made him form the fractions using the number symbol that I created.  He's working on the pies randomly thus the blue and yellow are not yet done.

There are so many ways that you can practice fractions.  We have this math cubes which we love to use in our math activities and I also presented this to Mavi.  I showed him that fraction is not just about pies, it can be of anything that is equally divided.  

We will do a lot more in this subject as he loves making fractions.  We'll try to explore other materials as well like paper, chocolate bars and fraction tiles (if available).

And that's about it! Hope you find this post helpful!  Feel free to share this with your friends and don't forget to pin this for future reference!

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Letter 'c' Sound Activities

Monday, May 25, 2015

This was a fun and quick set activities.  We basically finished all of these in a week.
Letter 'c' sound basket.  Our object basket was composed of a carrot, a toy red car and a cow animal figure.  The foam letter is from Munchkins Foam Bath.

Letter 'c' craft. I made Vito colour the letter c using our Do-a-Dot markers (which he really really loves by the way).  Afterwhich, I made him watch Mavi cut the letter and turn it into a letter c carrot.

C for colours.   This is again another colour matching activity I prepared for Vito.  The cups were from the local store and the cubes were from  Melissa & Doug Lacing Beads learning toy.  We do this activity everyday for Vito to know his colours.

C for cottons.  We tried this activity, painting using cotton balls but Vito was horrified of the cotton.  So we proceeded with finger painting instead.  We are using Giotto Bebe Fingerpaints at home.

Playing with pegs (pretend corns).  We played around with favourite FantaColor pegs and Vito is getting better fitting those smaller pegs into the hold

Steamed carrots.  Vito's snack for the entire week LOL.

C for cars.  We played with cars every morning and matched them to our homemade colour cards.  Read about it here.

Books this week:
You can also purchase these books from Book Depository, shipping is free!

Photos of Vito working.

More letter sound activities coming up in the next few weeks!

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Why not try reading our Letter ‘a’ Sound activities?
 Our Letter ‘b’ Sound activities might interest you as well!

Teaching Colors With Cars

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Making the most of Vito’s interest in cars, we played this colour matching game. This is an example of “follow the child”.  Observe your child’s interest and use that in you advantage lol. 

You see Vito knows his shapes and can identify objects, but I’m not really sure with his colours .  This is the reason why I do colour activities everyday.  And as much as I want to push him, colour activity is not really his type.  So I was wondering if we could do colour matching and play cards at the same time.

Oh boy it was a total hit!

Cars and Cards


I suggest start the presentation slowly. It’s like saying “Vito, this car is red.  This card is also red.  So I’m going to put them together here.” 


I wanted to present three colours only (red, blue and yellow) but he took out the rest of the cards and gave it to me (a sign!).  So I proceeded with the other colours.  After the presentation he started playing with the cars, making sounds and gestures. While he is at it, I asked him to show me a car according to the colour I  will mention.  In the picture below I asked him for a blue car, and he pointed correctly on the car.  I asked him for a yellow car, but he ignored me and continue playing with the blue car.  If that’s the case, let him be.  No pressure. The point here is exposing the child to colours, not pushing them to know it instantly.


Cars and M&D Latches Board


He loves this toy, so I used it as a tool in teaching colour as well. Here I was telling him a story that the cars need to go home, and they have to go to the doors of which they matches their colours.


He listened all throughout the presentation (I guess he loves the story), but ignored me whenever I ask him to give me a certain coloured car.  He was too busy playing opening and closing the doors, while moving the cars in any directions.


Well this was a nice attempt of teaching Vito colours.  We’ll be doing this frequently, as he loves playing with cars as of the moment

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Measuring Mass of an Object

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mavi and I started some activities for Applied Science.  Here, math and science works together to solve problems.  Applied Science enables the child to do critical thinking. 

Experimenting and predicting Mass (Weight)

I chose this lesson because I’ve always wanted to use our bucket balance which I got from Learning Resources.  I had this since last year but Mavi has been using it for play and have not used it as an educational toy yet.

Materials needed:




  • To develop skills in predicting and estimating the mass of the an object.
  • To use knowledge in science and math to come up with a mathematical conclusion based on the experiment.

Mavi will predict the weight of the materials without putting it in the scale.  The prediction of how heavy it is will be based on the unit material we are using.  For example, how many unit trains does the rugby ball weighs?  Then we will determine if his predictions are correct by testing it in the balance against the number of units he predicted.

DSC_0049  As you can see we keep a notebook here to record his data.  There should be three columns with label: [object] [prediction] [actual]


Once he has tested all the materials, we will then come up with a conclusion if his prediction are correct or not.  Then compare each object, from the lightest to heaviest using the number of units each has.





Rugby ball 17 trains 25 trains
Book 20 pebbles 33 pebbles
Box 10 pebbles 11 pebbles

We concluded that the heaviest item was the rugby ball and the lightest was the Jenga box.

This was an exciting activity for Mavi.  After our lesson he continued playing with the balance in his room, with his brother.  He’s trying to test how will two different objects balance. Of course, he has a little helper.



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