Times tables can be really tricky to learn. It takes time and regular practice. Making the learning fun is half the battle. If your child enjoys the practice then they won’t mind doing it. Using a variety of times-tables games can make this a fun task.
Times-tables games – Dominoes
Using a set of dominoes turn over a domino each and multiply the two ends together. You can add some competition in and set a timer for one minute. See how many you can do in that time and then try to beat your partner. Another way is to write the answers onto card and then find the answer to match to the domino.
This type of game may need a little preparation unless you are practicing all times tables up to 12.
Times-tables games – Tic Tac Toe
Do you remember playing noughts and crosses as a child? This is a really fun game and can be used to practice times-tables. Set up a 3 x 3 grid and in each square write a multiplication that you are currently practicing such as 3 x 4 or 6 x 4. When you have set up the grid, (see the picture below) you are ready to play. In order to claim a square you must answer the times-table first. Winning is the same – get three in a row!
Early tricks to help you calculate when multiplying
Obviously it is better to learn your times tables by heart but there are a few tricks to help you along the way.
Use the segments of your fingers and number them (works fro either the 3 or 4 times tables). If you want to know 3 x 4 then you count the 4 segments on 3 fingers. This will give you the answer. The segments are the three parts on each finger plus the top of your palm being the fourth. Or if you want to do the 3 times table just use the 3 segments in each finger. See the picture below to help.
To calculate the 9 times tables you can also use your fingers. Take a look at your hands and your fingers. When you multiply 9 x 1, you will fold down your finger that was assigned the “1” spot: your left pinkie. When you multiply 9 x 2, you will fold down the finger that is second from the left: your left ring finger.
Give it a go and have some fun!