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The Power of Customization: Transforming Educational Materials with Manipulative Kits


As educational publishers know, manipulative kits are integral to educational development in the classroom. Manipulatives are tangible objects that give young students (usually grades K – 5) something real to touch and see, helping them grasp complex concepts much faster than reading about it in a book.

Take the Fraction Equivalency manipulative for example: the first strip shows '1', representing a whole. The next strip splits into two equal parts, each marked '½'. Then, another strip divides into three equal parts, labeled '1/3', and so on. These visuals make it clear that fractions piece together to form complete numbers.

Often available in a variety of bright colors and textures, common manips include number lines, dice, pieces of foam in geometric shapes, fake money, counting bears and so much more!

By combining manipulatives with traditional teaching methods, educators create a powerful learning experience. Students not only understand but also retain information better, ensuring a solid foundation in mathematics, science, and beyond.

EDU Manips

Defining Manipulative Kits

What is a Manipulative Kit? You guessed it! It’s a collection of manipulatives designed to enhance hands-on learning. These kits contain various manipulatives, packaged together for easy use. Larger kits often come in plastic tubs, similar to those found in the organization aisle at Target, while smaller kits are typically packed in zippered mesh pouches to showcase the contents.

Each kit is brightly labeled and usually includes printed materials detailing the items inside. These kits are essential for providing students with tangible learning aids that support and enrich their educational experience.

Trends in Manipulative Kit Customization

As curriculums evolve, it is important that the types of manipulatives are tailored to the material. We have been seeing increased trends evolve over time and have listed a few observations of ours to help you in structuring your manipulative kits appropriately.

  1. Personalized Learning Tools: There's a growing demand for manipulatives that can be customized to meet the diverse needs of individual students. Personalized learning tools help address different learning styles, paces, and interests, making education more effective and engaging.
  2. STEAM-Focused Materials: There's an increasing emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education. Schools and teachers are seeking manipulatives that support hands-on learning in these areas, such as robotics kits, coding blocks, and art-based manipulatives.
  3. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Supports: Manipulatives that support social-emotional learning are becoming more popular. These tools help students develop skills such as empathy, cooperation, and emotional regulation. Examples include emotion cards, cooperative games, plushies, and other sensory manipulatives.
  4. Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Materials: With a growing awareness of environmental issues, there is a trend toward using eco-friendly and sustainable materials in educational manipulatives. Schools and teachers are looking for products made from recycled or renewable resources, which are non-toxic and durable.

How Kodi Collective Can Help

What does Kodi do? We work with educational publishers to source the manips they need to support the curriculum in their textbooks. Sometimes a kit is already fully developed, and we are there to help source the products from our established domestic and international supply chain.

In other cases, our clients require assistance in crafting the packaging for their kits, of which our dedicated design center can provide multiple recommendations for effectively presenting various curriculums. We also offer expertise in designing kit packaging using alternative materials to promote cost-saving - like replacing rigid plastics with foam materials, akin to those found in sneakers.

With decades of experience, the Kodi Education Team excels in assembling Manipulative Kits using top-notch materials, captivating packaging, and cost-efficient strategies. Trust us to deliver solutions that elevate educational resources seamlessly.