For parents and those that Home Educate

Many of you that come to our website interested in the Cuisenaire rods, may not know what to do once you have purchased a set of rods. Some of you will come to the material with some mathematical literacy having found mathematics a subject you enjoyed at school, or may even be mathematicians or scientists in your work life.


Some of you will however have struggled with maths yourselves and will want to stop the chain of negative experience with maths for your child.

If you are wondering how you will best be able to support your child with using this material, we have put together some recommendations below.

The best book for beginners...‘Now Johnny Can Do Arithmetic’ looks at why some students struggle, and illustrates how they can overcome these struggles.

Now Johnny can Do Arithmetic

The first step we must take is to obtain a set of Cuisenaire rods. Let your child play freely with them and watch what they do. You will learn much you never knew about them – their inventiveness, their endless capacity to renew their games, their sense of pattern, and they way in which, while playing, they pick up the essential concepts upon which mathematics is based. 

You will discover that they have an astonishing memory for abstract facts..........and a natural skill in mastering the relationships they find exemplified in the colours and sizes of the rods. Because their minds are young and fresh they may well be quicker at this than you are yourself, and this will give them great encouragement.’

page 6 'Now Johnny Can Do Arithmetic' by C. Gattegno  (slightly ammended)

Mathematics Text Book 1

Try working through Maths textbook 1 yourself, with the rods, so you can then pass on the process of understanding that you experienced to your children.

Workbooks 1-6

Our Workbooks 1-6 are something the children can then work through to consolidate the mathematics they are exploring and are recommended to be used with Mathematics textbook 1 and 2

Product Wall Chart and Playing Cards

The product playing cards and product wall charts are available as designed by Georges Cuisenaire in the 1950’s. We have created a pdf of the product playing cards which you can download and print at home.

Cuisenaire Early Years to Adult

"To begin with we have suggested some starting points for beginning your work with Cuisenaire. Following this, we have collected ideas which focus on specific curriculum themes, such as Counting, Sequences, Patterns and Algebraic Reasoning, Fractions, Ratio and Proportion, Addition and Subtraction (additive reasoning), Multiplication and Division (multiplicative reasoning) and finally present some problems that help learners to see the interconnectedness of mathematics." 

"Our underlying pedagogy is that play doesn't begin and end with the Early Years.....Thus for anyone new to Cuisenaire, the first step is to play with a box, to make pictures and patterns and, for older learners, to make a note of any connections you are noticing. Everyone needs to play. And play periodically."


Page 5 'Cuisenaire Early Years to Adult' by Helen J Williams, Mike Ollerton and Simon Gregg


Ideal for individual work and easy to carry with you in a school bag or handbag.

The largest set of rods with 308 pieces in all, ideal for two students or a small group to work with.

Gives support to parents and children who are struggling. Ideal for absolute beginners.

Great for beginners with a mini set of rods to carry about more easily.

Gives an excellent start in basic math, with suggested exercises, and workbooks to work through.

Click on the image to access a pdf of the book of ideas, written for beginners with the rods.

Most importantly we think it is important that you allow your children to enjoy the Cuisenaire rods.

"From building staircases, making a house or making combinations equivalent to 5 or 100 the Cuisenaire rods are versatile, attractive, safe to use and long lasting.

We can guarantee that your child will build a love of this material and a love of the understanding that they facilitate."

Jake Hollyfield Company Director and Michaela Hollyfield Assistant Manager