Puzzles and Manipulatives Center

This center provides children with opportunities to practice math and problem-solving skills. There is also the opportunity to develop fine motor skills with the use of smaller manipulatives. Because many manipulatives are multicolored and come in various sizes, children can practice sorting and classifying. They can also create patterns. Although the manipulatives center might seem to focus only on math concepts, there are still opportunities to build language. The center should include writing materials for children to record their thoughts or to chart out ideas before beginning their work. Teachers can also push-in and pull-out target vocabulary in this center.


  • Counting materials (cubes, counters, etc.)
  • Sorting items (buttons, vehicles, beads, etc.)
  • Scales
  • Items for measuring (rulers, etc.)
  • Puzzles
  • Math-related materials (geo boards, shapes, etc.)
  • Lacing cards
  • Peg boards
  • Found materials (rocks, bottle caps, etc.)
  • Labeled storage (photo + text)
  • Writing materials
  • Related books