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10 Ways to Teach Your Child Multiplication

March 8, 2012

Every child in about third grade starts learning about multiplication.  This learning continues for several years as the children learn how to multiply bigger and bigger numbers.  Helping your child learn their multiplication math facts early will help them tremendously in school.  Check out 10 ways to teach your child multiplication.

  1. Flash cards: These are tried and true for a reason, they work.  However, not all children do well just sitting and memorizing facts so this method is for the child who is good at rote memorization.  Based on how well they learned their addition and subtraction math facts you should know your child’s learning style.
  2. Online games: Do an Internet search and you should pull up several fun online games to help your child learn their multiplication math facts in a fun way.  This method usually works well for the child that learns better visually.
  3. Worksheets: Books are available at major book retailers that will help with multiplication worksheets.  Many times just the act of doing something over and over will help the child learn their facts.  You should also be able to find free worksheets online that you can print out for your child.
  4. Books: There are many funny books on the market like Times Tables the Fun Way.  This book is very colorful and fully illustrated to help kids learn multiplication in a fun and easy way without the pressure of normal methods.
  5. Bake cookies: Multiplication is just adding over and over.  Get out some sugar cookie dough and roll it out.  Pick an example like 3×4 or 4×6 to start out with.  Have your child cut out 6 cookies and lay them on the cookie sheet.  Get out chocolate chips or cinnamon candies or M&M’s and have your child place 4 on each cookie.  Have them count how many total candies or chips are on the cookies.  Explain that 6×4 is just 6+6+6+6 or 4+4+4+4+4+4 and that they all equal 24.  This activity is great for a kinesthetic learner (those that love to move).
  6. Table: The multiplication table is really an easy way for your child to get a visual on what they are learning.  With flash cards they are just random facts that seem endless.  When you look at the multiplication table it narrows down what they need to learn.
  7. Videos: There are videos online or that you can buy that will help explain the multiplication facts to your child if you don’t think you are up to the challenge or if you just want to have one more avenue to help your child learn their facts.  Sometimes the more ways you can present something the easier it is for them.  Something will click for them and the more ways you try the easier it will be for them to find what works best.
  8. Game: Play a card game called Factor. You will have to convert a regular card deck to play this game and you probably won’t be able to use it again for regular cards.  Remove the King and Queen from the deck.  Write an 11 on the Jack and a 12 on the Ace.  To play you have to learn what numbers go together to make other numbers.  Like the factors of 12 are 1, 2,3,4,6 and 12.  You deal out 6 cards to each player.  The player to the left of the dealer starts and calls out what the ‘target product’ is for that hand.  This is determined by them multiplying two of their cards together in their hand.  Then you go around the table and everyone plays a factor of that number if they have it.  They keep the card in front of them because the product of those cards will be their score for that hand.  They played a 3 and a 4 so their score is 7.  The first person to reach 100 wins.
  9. Songs: School House Rock has a whole series of 3 minute songs about multiplying by each number.  It’s always easier to learn something when it’s set to music.  The type of child that will learn their facts from a song may surprise you.  Songs allow the child to move around and sometimes that will make the difference in what makes it click for them.
  10. Writing it down: The more times that you write something down, no matter what it is, you are more likely to remember it.  It’s a proven fact that if you write something even once it improves your ability to remember because the brain files written information differently than information that you have only heard.  Why do you think teachers make naughty children write one sentence 100 times?  So they don’t forget it that’s why, so it works with multiplication facts as well.



6 Responses to 10 Ways to Teach Your Child Multiplication

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Susanna White says:

HA! I love the idea of baking cookies to help learn multiplication, and I have no doubt my kids will be on board with that one too!

HIlary says:

Our nanny helped our kids learn multiplication and she used cooking and baking to reinforce concepts all the time – You really don’t realize how much math is done in the kitchen and it’s amazing how helpful visual aides in the form of food can be!

natalie n. says:

i swear by writing things down to memorize them. that’s how i was able to learn everything throughout school and my kids are the same way. the more we write things down, the more likely we are to remember them. good tip!

janice says:

ah, School House Rock! at this point who hasn’t used their catchy songs to learn different facts? love them. we also played Factor a LOT when my kiddos were learning their multiplication tables. it’s a good way to make learning fun!

Ellen Deguise says:

I remember watching the school house rock videos back when I was in elementary school. Hilarious that they’re still using them! Guess that just goes to show how well they work though – I may have to purchase some of the videos for my daughter to watch after school!

Fran says:

I’m a teacher and we recommend online games to our parents all the time. A lot of times kids are going to be on the computer playing around anyway, so they might as well make that time constructive by playing some educational games. Most of them don’t even mind because the games are fun, so it doesn’t feel like work.