Manipulatives come in many shapes and forms; they vary in price and complexity. Some manipulatives include calculators, money, two-color counters, buttons, paper clips, tooth picks, string, playing cards, rulers, number cubes (dice), graph paper, empty egg cartons, capacity containers (measuring cups), spinners, drinking straws, thermometers, pattern blocks, dominoes, cuisenaire rods or strips, geo-boards, tangrams, and pentominoes to name only a few of the commonly available manipulatives that can be successfully used in the classroom. These manipulatives can be used to teach such concepts such as angles, decimals, factoring, estimation, fractions, measurement, counting, percent, prime numbers, probability, geometry, place value and whole numbers.
Games with manipulatives are also a great way to allow students to apply what they learned to the real world. Using board games and card games along with cooperative learning are ways that students can become involved in a positive mathematical environment. Games are highly motivational to students and can be used effectively to practice specific skills. "Using games in the classroom and at home will maximize students' problem-solving competence, ability to communicate and reason mathematically, perception of the value of mathematics, and self-confidence in their ability to apply mathematical knowledge to new situations" .