Using Snap Cubes in the Primary Classroom

12:00 AM

I don't know about you but my kids love using snap cubes! They are great tools for fine motor activities and building, but they can also be great math manipulatives! Now before you just toss your students a bucket of snap cubes and expect them to use them correctly with the activity, there's a few things you should probably do first!

Choosing the Right Snap Cubes

Many schools have tons of snap cubes hiding in closets being unused (mine did!) but not everyone has these tools just laying around so let's look at a few different options first!

I love the color options of these snap cubes! You get a lot of color choices which the kids love and allows for more creativity. I love that they have holes on all sides so that students can build in different directions with them. The only problem we had with these was that sometimes when students were putting them together, they would get stuck and require my husband to twist them apart, lol.

These are probably the ones you have seen around your school for years now. They are great using them for math tools! They come in many different color options and are very easy for little hands to connect and take apart. The only thing I was not crazy about was is that they can only be connected in one direction, students can only build towers with them.

These are the style that I currently use in my classroom. Just like the other two, they have great color options to use for various activities. They are also perfect for little hands and easy to connect and take apart. My Kinders have not been able to get these "stuck together"...yet.

These are some options that you can use for snap cubes in your classroom and just my thoughts on them. Of course, pick what is best for your students!

Setting Expectations

Now before you just toss these cubes into a math center and let the kids go for it, you need to set up some classroom rules and expectations for the snap cubes. Let your kids help be a part of making the rules and expectations so they feel ownership. Make sure you discuss and model correct ways to use snap cubes and ways not to use snap cubes. That's my students' favorite part, watching me be silly with snap cubes and telling me how I used them incorrectly.

Now it is time to let them practice using snap cubes. When I do this, I do not give my students any specific activities at first, I just let them explore the snap cubes independently. I will guide them by asking them to try different things with the snap cubes but it is mostly free play and exploration. Students want to play and explore so let them! Especially before you ask them to use them as a math tool. 

Fun Activities with Snap Cubes

Once you have taught your students how to use snap cubes correctly, it is time to let them start using them in math centers as manipulatives! There are so many fun and simple activities that your students can do with just snap cubes. Some of our favorite activities that we like to do are counting, representing numbers, showing one more, sorting, graphing, measuring, and ten frames.

Let me know in the comments how you use snap cubes with you students! Then head on over to my blog to see a few more ways that we use Snap Cubes in my classroom!

by Julie Davis

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