Cuisenaire Rods



This set of 136 cuisenaire rods is an excellent way to help visual and tactile learners with basic numeracy skills, particularly addition and subtraction from 1 to 10.

Most Cuisenaire rods follow this system:

  • White rod = 1 cm
  • Red rod = 2 cm
  • Light green rod = 3 cm
  • Lavender rod = 4 cm
  • Yellow rod = 5 cm
  • Dark green rod = 6 cm
  • Black rod = 7 cm
  • Brown rod = 8 cm
  • Blue rod = 9 cm
  • Orange rod = 10 cm

Each centimetre equals one unit. 

Cuisenaire rods are a versatile mathematical manipulative used in elementary school as well as other levels of learning and even with adults. They are used to teach a wide variety of mathematical topics such as the basic four operations, fractions , area, volume, square roots, solving simple equations, systems of equations, and even quadratic equations. 

Though primarily used for mathematics, they have also become popular in language-teaching classrooms, particularly The Silent Way. They can be used to teach items such as prepositions of place, sentence and word stress.

The rods (réglettes in the original French) are named after their inventor, Georges Cuisenaire (1891-1976), a Belgian primary school teacher, who published a book on their use in 1952 called Les nombres en couleurs. The use of rods for both mathematics and language teaching was developed and popularised by Caleb Gattegno in many countries around the world. In the system, there are 10 rods measuring 1 cm to 10 cm. Rods of equal length are assigned the same colour.