20 Activities for Math (Autism and Learning)

This is part two of an ongoing series about teaching my autistic  sons using hands on/concrete/visual work as the backbone of our  learning. It may be useful to others who have an interest in teaching  autistic children. (parent or outside educator, or whatever)

These activities are primarily for six to ten year old learners.  I use them for my autistic sons age 7, and 12, and with my precocious five year old.

Educators realize children are ready for more advanced ideas earlier, while some children are going to  benefit from  concrete methods well into ages when we expect abstraction.  This is especially true for the autistic learner.

As the ages one needs concrete examples are highly flexible,  so too are  needs in terms of area of study.   For example, a child may require concrete examples in one type of math,  and easily make inferences in others.

Our maths shelf:

math shelf

1. Subtraction board

basic subtraction, number relationships, fact families

2. Addition board


basic addition, counting on, number line, fact families

3. Fraction Tower From Learning Resources

naming, proper, improper, mixed,equivalent, simplification, comparing, operations

4. Multiplication board


memorizing and visualizing the multiplication tables

5. Shapeometry

spatial awareness and problem solving

6. Set theory


Sets, sub-sets, intersection, compliment, element, union, organizing and evaluating data

7. Wipe off board and markers

8. Stamp Game


Base ten, all four arithmetic operations

9. Geoboards in Action- Learning Resources K-3 and Intermediate Activities


 Language and Patterning, Counting and Shapes, Perimeter and Area, Symmetry and Motions, Problem Solving and Logical Reasoning, Transformations,  Perimeter,  Area,  Polygons, Quadrilaterals

10. Attribute Blocks


Sorting, Sequencing, patterns, Sets

11. Base Ten Blocks


Base ten system, arithmetic operations, place value, number sentences,  representing quantity

12. Number Tiles

(shown in number 11)

These are used with the base ten, and can also be used with the stamp game.

Not shown:

13. Knex Kits

Explorations in Math Kit

  Coordinate planes and cartesian coordinates, Alpha-numeric grids and game strategies, Describe, extend, and make generalizations about geometric and numeric patterns, Represent data using concrete objects, pictures, and graphs, 2-D Shapes, symmetry and transformations, Spatial relationship, spatial memory, and spatial visualization skills

 Elementary Math And Geometry Kit

Constructing squares, rectangles, trapezoids, rhombi, prisms, triangles, quadrilaterals,Symmetry,  pattern and fraction models, Shapes, Lines, Segments & Rays, Angles, Congruence, Sides, Faces, Fractions

14.  1-9 Counting activity

(wooden numbers and red circles)

15. Binomial Square

proportional reasoning, area concepts, base 4 numeration, place value, polynomials, rectangles, binomial theorem (older children) and multiplication

Other visual ways we math :

16. Computer/ipad games

Dragonbox 5+ and 12+  (pre-algebra)

Stamp Game App

Mesozoic Math App

Brown Stair, Pink Tower app

Montessori Numbers app

100 board app




17. Board games

Snakes and ladders  – counting to 100, counting on, addition

Hi -ho Cheerio – counting, subtraction

18. Card Games

War – comparing value

Go fish- matching


19. School House Rock Math Videos

multiplication facts, skip counting

20. Candy Math

Occasionally we get m&m’s or skittles for sorting, ratio, fraction, percent, addition, subraction, multiplication, and division

Tooth picks and gum drops or marshmallows are fun for creating quadrilaterals, the platonic solids, and free exploration.



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