Addition and subtraction are the easier Math concepts children are more comfortable exploring. Multiplication, though, is an entirely different story. While memorizing multiplication tables might seem easy to get kids out of the multiplication trap, they must first get the basics of Multiplication firmly ensconced in their minds.
The good thing is that there are several fun ways in which you can teach Multiplication to kids. There’s one that will resonate with them and ensure Multiplication gets its rightful seat alongside the more favored Addition and Subtraction.
Here are the 15 Fun Ways to Teach Multiplication to Kids
Here’s a look at the best ways to ‘multiply the joy’ that stems from learning Multiplication!
1. Math Bingo
One of the best ways to teach Multiplication is to make a game of it!
How: Let children create their 5×5 grid that makes for a Bingo card, then fill it out with random numbers like 4, 33, and 92. Then, you need to call out multiplication problems like 11×3. The answer has to be checked off that Bingo card.
2. Math Competition
One of the most efficient teaching methods, Multiplication, is to bring out that competitive streak. Now, who wants to be the next Pythagoras?
How: Divide the kids in the class into two groups and get them to sit separately. Have one kid from each group stand up before asking them a multiplication problem. The child in the pair who raises their hand first and gets the answer right scores a point for their respective team. This way, every student in the class participates in the game. May the best team win!
3. Learning with Patterns or Tricks
Certain patterns are inherent in the world of Mathematics that will help children better understand how Multiplication works.
How:Taking an example, show the kids that in the case of the 4 times table, all the answers are even. In the case of the 10 times table, all answers will end in a zero. In the case of the five times table, the alternate answers will be 0, and the rest will be 5. Here’s an interesting one: In the case of the nine times table, all answers add up to 9.
For instance: 9×5 = 45
4+5 = 9
One of the best ways to teach Multiplication.
4. Multiplication War
Nothing destructive about this game! It’s the name of a popular multiplication card game. Multiplication for kids just got way cooler!
How:In this 2-player game, both players’ cards are dealt face down after shuffling them well. The kids have to flip over their respective top cards. The child that multiplies both numbers correctly wins the round.
Note:Don’t forget to take out the Jokers and ensure you allocate a number (like, say, 15) to the Ace, Queen, and King each if you will be using them.
5. Using Arrays
One of the simplest ways to teach Multiplication involves the use of arrays.
How: Arrange several coins into a grid with neatly demarcated rows and columns. Ensure there is the same number of coins in each row and column. For example, three coins in each row and two in each column. Then, our array represents the following sequence:
This is important because children need to understand how Multiplication works, and a powerful visualization like the one herein does the trick succinctly well.
6. Making Multiplication Name Tags
This one’s a cool activity for multiplication learning.
How: Create name tags with multiplication equations like ‘5×3’ as each student’s name tag. At some point in the day, you want the students to stand up and state their ‘names’. For instance, in the case of the student, as mentioned above, they would stand up and say, ‘Hello, my name is 15 (5×3)’.
7. Commutative Property
One of the simplest ways to teach Multiplication is also one of the most powerful.
How: Show your kids how answers often repeat themselves, where it comes to that multiplication table.
For instance: 5×3=15
This is important as once your kid has mastered the early tables (1,2,3), primed with that knowledge, they will also know the answers for the later tables. Essentially, they only have to learn half a table.
8. Multiplication Songs
In today’s day and age, with access to all that uber-cool digital technology, learning is a lot easier. And so it is when we are looking to teach Multiplication to kids.
How: Search YouTube for cool multiplication songs, and play them in class. Children can even sing along as they learn, making that learning process much cooler.
Tip: Try and find multiplication songs accompanied by uber animations.
9. Skip Counting
An activity for Multiplication that hits the spot, this one is really easy to implement.
How: Let your kids imagine that they and three of their best friends have to distribute chocolate boxes to different houses in the neighborhood. They each have 5 boxes. How many boxes might be needed? Here’s where skip counting comes in, adding the intervals between two numbers to get your answer.
So, it looks like this: 5+5=10
A great way for kids to understand that by adding 5 to itself four times, you get 20 (5×4=20).
10. Virtual Games
Let’s face it. Weaning kids off technology isn’t quite going to happen to the extent you wish. Why not use that technology constructively to teach Multiplication?
How: There are plenty of cool virtual games you will find online that will help your child imbibe those vital multiplication skills. What’s best, you will find that children will not fear failure, as any wrong answer they come up with is not visible to anyone but themselves. Also, read more about the best educational games for kids.
You might also want to read about Developmental Skills Every Toddler Should Have
11. Math Books
How to teach Multiplication? Simple! Get some great Math Books.
How: Math Books are generally exploding with things like color and animals, making attempting problems addictive. Ensure you select books that are stimulating. You will find that getting your kids to do Math homework was never easier!
12. The Constant as Change
Do you know what they say about ‘change being constant’? Use the calculator to exemplify this with far greater emphasis.
How: Take a calculator and enter a number in it, like 8. Then press the + button, followed by the = button. The calculator still shows 8. But here’s where the fun begins. The constant function invoked will bring out the multiples of 8 (16,24,32…) with every subsequent press of that = button. Have the kids note down those multiples and comprehend the patterns therein.
13. Recite the Multiplication Table
The multiplication table is important but not easy for small kids.
How: Have kids recite the table on their way to the classroom. Recite it yourself, and they will have mastered it in only a short time.
14. The Timetable Buzz Game
This is a great way for kids in a group to learn multiplication tables.
How: Have a child say the first number in the 5s table. The next child says the second number. And so on. The last child says’ Buzz’ when the final number has been called out. Then, move on to the 6s table.
15. Using Worksheets
Preschool Kids are not especially fond of worksheets, but these must be kept well at hand given the number of times they will use Multiplication. Ensure they are short and sweet, so your child is well on track to learning Multiplication with a sense of ease.
Now that we’ve covered the gamut of the best multiplication activities let’s take things to the next level by ensuring we follow these invaluable tips for teaching Multiplication.
- Let them master addition first. Multiplication is nothing but addition done repeatedly, after all.
- Teach with the multiples of zeros. While 5+0 = 5 is easy to comprehend for most kids, 5×0 = 0 can be confusing. Try saying, ‘If I give Sheena 4 chocolates at no time, how many sweets will she have?’
- Teach multiplying by one. As with 0, multiplying by one can be hard to understand, too. You can ask, ‘If I give Sheena a chocolate at one time, how many chocolates does she have?’
- Start easy. Hand children multiplication sheets and let them start slowly, focusing on multiples of 2, 5, and 10 that are generally easier to learn.
- Allow them to make mistakes. Don’t pressure the little ones. They will only learn from their mistakes.
Multiplication is not all that difficult for children to grasp if you teach it right to them. As seen in this article, several fun activities will ensure the multiplication learning box is ticked off in due time.
Visit EuroKids for more engaging blogs.