Teaching multiplication the fun way with Cuisenaire Rods!

Spark your children's interest in mathematics and help them understand important math concepts as they progress from concrete representation to abstract thinking with these FUN manipulatives!
Cuisenaire Rods provide endless opportunities to introduce, investigate, and reinforce key math topics, such as:
  • Geometry
  • Patterns
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Measurement
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Fractions
  • And much more!
Cuisenaire Rods are based on a metric scale with one light tan cube being one cubic centimeter. Rods of different colors are 2 through 10 centimeters long. These compliment Base Ten Blocks, which have pieces one centimeter long, 10 centimeters, squares of 100 square centimeters, and cubes of 1000 cubic.

I start my little ones off using Cuisenaire Rods when they are preschoolers. While I am homeschooling the older kids, my younger children can do their school work, too. While they feel like they are just playing, they are actually learning a lot. One thing they are learning is the sizes of their Cuisenaire Rods.

Here are the books I use for preschoolers. (I could not find them on-line while writing this post so they may be discontinued. If anyone knows where to get them, please leave me a comment.)

I have also used a Cuisenaire Alphabet Book

When my kids are ready to learn addition, we create fact families and they figure out how many different ways they can make a number. We write the fact families after they explore a bit. (My boys also build lots of towers for fun. I even join in.)

Next, we progress to addition facts. Since each number represents one cubic centimeter, children can add up the rods by placing them side-by-side on a centimeter track. I love these tracks!

The last step is teaching multiplication by having children place the number of rods side-by-side to see the total on the track.

For example, a green rod equals six cm.
So 4 green rods equal 24.

4 x 6 =24

An orange rods equals ten cm.
So 3 orange rods equal 30.

3 x 10 =30

Enjoy making math FUN using these incredible manipulatives!