Manipulatives are physical objects that are used as teaching tools to engage students in the hands-on learning of mathematics. They can be used to introduce, practice, or remediate a concept.
Mathematical manipulatives play a key role in young children's mathematics understanding and development. These concrete objects facilitate children's understanding of important math concepts, then later help them link these ideas to representations and abstract ideas. For example, there are manipulatives specifically designed to help students learn fractions, geometry and algebra such as pattern blocks, interlocking cubes, and tiles and the various concepts taught through using them.