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How to Teach Kids Multiplication

Little boy learning multiplication.

Has your child showed early adeptness in math? Or maybe they’re in the third grade and just not getting this new multiplication concept.

Either way, you want to be sure that your child is getting the best education possible. After all, multiplication is a key fundamental in mathematics that will be used throughout their schooling years and even in their adult life.

So, what can you do to ensure that your child grasps multiplication?

Let’s take a look.

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Why Teach Your Kids Multiplication

First of all, let’s take a look at why you should bother teaching your kids multiplication in the first place. After all, they could just get by with addition and subtraction, right?

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Wrong.

Multiplication is an important math concept for kids to learn for a few reasons:

  • It’s a building block for other advanced math concepts,
  • It’s a way of solving problems more efficiently,
  • It can help with things in everyday life (like budgeting).

Let’s take a look at each of these reasons in a bit more detail.

8 Benefits of Teaching Your Kids Multiplication Early

1. Multiplication Is a Building Block for Other Math Concepts

Little boy solving math equation on the white board.

One of the most important reasons to teach your child multiplication is that it’s a building block for other, more advanced math concepts.

If your child can’t multiply, they’re going to have a hard time with division, fractions, and algebra later on. In short, if you want your child to be successful in math in the long run, it’s important to make sure they have a strong foundation in multiplication.

2. Multiplication Is a More Efficient Way of Solving Problems

Another reason to teach your child multiplication is that it’s simply a more efficient way of solving problems.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re trying to figure out how many candy bars you can buy with your $20 budget. If you can’t multiply, you’ll have to painstakingly count out each individual candy bar until you reach $20.

However, if you know how to multiply, you can simply take the price of one candy bar ($2) and multiply it by 10 to get your answer ($20). This is a much more efficient way of solving the problem.

In short, learning multiplication can save your child a lot of time and frustration down the road.

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3. Multiplication Can Help with Things in Everyday Life

Finally, it’s important to note that multiplication can actually help with things in everyday life. For example, learning how to multiply can help your child budget their money more effectively.

If your child knows how to multiply, they’ll be able to figure out how much money they need to save up in order to buy that new toy they want. This is a valuable skill that will come in handy throughout their life.

4. It Improves Logic and Reasoning Skills

In addition to the reasons listed above, teaching your child multiplication can also help to improve their logic and reasoning skills.

This is because multiplication requires children to think abstractly in order to solve problems. For example, when children are first learning multiplication, they have to understand that 3 x 4 doesn’t mean “3 plus 4,” but rather “3 groups of 4.”

This may seem like a small distinction, but it’s actually a very important one. By learning how to think abstractly, children are able to develop better logic and reasoning skills. These skills will come in handy not only in math class but in other areas of their life as well.

5. It Teaches Sequencing and Pattern Recognition

Mother teaching daughter simple programming.

In addition to improving logic and reasoning skills, teaching your child multiplication can also help to improve their sequencing and pattern recognition skills.

This is because multiplication involves a lot of patterns. For example, when children are first learning multiplication, they quickly realize that the 2 times table follows a specific pattern: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20.

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By recognizing and understanding this pattern, children are able to develop better sequencing and pattern recognition skills. Pattern recognition is absolutely essential in everyday life. For instance, when we’re driving, we need to be able to recognize patterns in the flow of traffic in order to stay safe.

6. It Teaches Cause, Effect, and Consequence

In addition to teaching sequence and patterns, multiplication can also teach cause and effect.

This is because multiplication involves a lot of trial and error. In order to find the right answer, children have to try different methods and see which ones work and which ones don’t. This process of trial and error helps children to understand cause and effect.

It also teaches them that there can be consequences for their actions. For example, if they don’t take the time to learn their multiplication tables, they’ll likely struggle when they have to do multiplication problems in class.

In short, by teaching children cause and effect, multiplication can help them to become more responsible and thoughtful individuals.

7. It Helps In Learning to Budget and Manage Money

Multiplication can also help children to learn how to budget and manage money.

This is because multiplication is a form of math that is often used in everyday life. For example, when we’re grocery shopping, we need to be able to multiply the cost of each item by the number of items we want to buy.

If children understand how multiplication works, they’ll be able to budget their money more effectively. This is a valuable skill that will come in handy throughout their life.

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8. Improve Memory and Concentration Skills

Last but not least, multiplication can help to improve memory and concentration skills.

This is because multiplication requires children to remember a lot of information. For example, they need to remember the different multiplication tables. This can be a challenge for some children, but it’s also an excellent way to improve their memory and concentration skills.

So there you have it! These are just a few of the many reasons why teaching your child multiplication can be so beneficial.

Of course, simply knowing the reasons why multiplication is important isn’t going to make your child a math genius overnight. In order to help your child really learn and understand multiplication, you’re going to need to use some effective teaching techniques.

How to Teach Your Elementary-School-Aged Child Multiplication

Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits of teaching multiplication, let’s take a look at how you can actually teach it to your child.

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. In this section, we’ll share some tips and tricks that will help you to teach your elementary-school-aged child multiplication effectively.

1. Make Sure They Have a Good Foundation in Math

Little girl solving math equation on the chalk board.

Before you start teaching your child multiplication, it’s important to make sure that they have a good foundation in math. This means that they should be able to add, subtract, and understand basic concepts like shapes and sizes.

If your child is struggling with these things, it’s probably not the right time to start teaching them multiplication. Instead, you should focus on helping them to understand these basic concepts first. Once they have a good foundation in math, they’ll be better equipped to learn multiplication.

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2. Start with the Basics

When you’re ready to start teaching your child multiplication, it’s important to start with the basics. This means teaching them the different multiplication tables.

You can find multiplication tables online or in math textbooks. Spend some time going over these tables with your child. Help them to understand what they’re seeing and how it all works.

Once your child has a good understanding of the multiplication tables, you can start moving on to more difficult concepts.

3. Use Manipulatives

Using manipulatives is a great way to help kids understand multiplication. There are lots of different kinds of manipulatives you can use, but some of the most popular ones are Cuisenaire rods and base ten blocks.

To use Cuisenaire rods, line up the rods from shortest to longest. Then, have your child count the number of rods in each group. When they’ve finished counting, they can multiply the number of rods in each group to find the total number of rods.

For example, if there are two green rods and three red rods, your child would count “two, three” and then multiply 2 x 3 to get six.

To use base ten blocks, start by representing each number with a certain number of blocks. For example, if you’re working with the number six, you would use six blocks.

Then, have your child count the total number of blocks. In this case, it would be six. Finally, they can multiply the number of blocks in each group to find the total number of blocks.

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For example, if there are two green blocks and three red blocks, your child would count “two, three” and then multiply 2 x 3 to get six.

Some other common manipulatives include:

  • Number lines
  • Tally marks
  • Counting bears
  • Legos

No matter what manipulative you use, the key is to have your child count the total number of items in each group. This will help them understand that multiplication is just a way of adding groups of numbers together.

4. Use Games

Hands holding game cards.

Games are another great way to help kids learn multiplication.

Multiplication War

Multiplication war is a popular card game that’s easy to learn and play.

To play, you’ll need a deck of cards (with the jokers removed) and a pencil and paper for each player. To start, each player draws two cards from the deck and looks at them without showing their opponent.

The player with the highest total number goes first. To take a turn, the player looks at their two cards and multiplies the numbers together. They then write their answer on a piece of paper and show it to their opponent.

If their opponent’s answer is higher, they cross out one of their cards. If their opponent’s answer is lower, they cross out both of their cards. The first player to cross out all of their cards wins the game.

This is a great game for helping kids understand the concept of multiplication and how to multiply numbers.

Multiplication Bingo

Multiplication bingo is another fun game that can help kids learn their multiplication facts.

To play, you’ll need a standard deck of cards and a bingo card for each player (you can find bingo cards online or make your own). Before the game starts, each player should write a multiplication problem in each square of their bingo card.

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To play, the dealer draws a card from the deck and calls out the number. The players then look for a multiplication problem on their bingo card that has that number as an answer. If they find one, they mark it off. The first player to get five in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) wins the game.

This is a great game for helping kids memorize their multiplication facts and learn how to solve multiplication problems quickly.

Multiplication Memory

Multiplication memory is a simple but effective game that can help kids learn their multiplication facts.

To play, you’ll need a deck of cards (with the jokers removed) and a pen and paper for each player. To start, each player draws two cards from the deck and looks at them without showing their opponent.

The player with the highest total number goes first. To take a turn, the player looks at their two cards and multiplies the numbers together. They then write their answer on a piece of paper and show it to their opponent.

If their opponent’s answer is higher, they turn over out one of their cards. If their opponent’s answer is lower, they turn over out both of their cards. The first player to turn over all of their cards wins the game.

This is a great game for helping kids understand the concept of multiplication and how to multiply numbers.

5. Use Technology

There are a number of great apps, websites, and online games that can help kids learn multiplication.

Some of our favorites include:

TuxMath (iOS/Android)

This is a great app for helping kids learn their multiplication facts. The game is simple but effective – kids need to solve multiplication problems to defend Tux (the Linux penguin) from incoming meteors.

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The app starts with simple problems and gradually gets more difficult as kids progress. There are also a number of different settings that kids can use to customize the game to their liking.

Math Blaster (App or Old Computer Game)

Math Blaster is a classic computer game that’s been around for decades. The game starts out relatively easy but gets quite challenging as kids progress. It’s a great way to help kids learn their multiplication facts while also providing some entertainment.

There is also a newer version of Math Blaster that’s available as an app (for iOS and Android). This version is very similar to the original but with updated graphics and gameplay.

Multiplication.com

This website has a ton of great resources for helping kids learn multiplication. There are games, activities, worksheets, and more.

One of our favorite features is the “drill” section where kids can practice their multiplication facts with timed quizzes. This is a great way to help kids memorize their facts and learn how to solve multiplication problems quickly.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

One of the best ways to help kids learn multiplication is to give them plenty of opportunities to practice.

There are a number of different ways to do this:

Flashcards

This is a classic way to help kids memorize their multiplication facts. You can either make your own flashcards or buy a set (like these).

To use flashcards, simply have your child read the problem on the front of the card and then solve it. If they get it correct, they can put the card in a “correct” pile. If they get it wrong, they can put it in a “wrong” pile and try again later.

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You can also use flashcards as a game. For example, you can have your child draw two cards and then multiply the numbers together. The first one to get 10 correct answers wins the game.

Worksheets

There are a ton of great multiplication worksheets available online (like these). These can be a great way to give kids some extra practice with their multiplication facts.

To use a worksheet, simply have your child complete the problems on the page. You can also time them to see how fast they can do it.

Multiplayer Games

There are a number of great multiplication games that kids can play with each other (either in person or online). These games are a great way to help kids practice their multiplication facts while also providing some competition.

The games we list above are a great place to start!

7. Reward Them

One of the best ways to Motivate kids is to reward them for their efforts.

You can do this in a number of different ways:

Create a Multiplication Chart

This is a great way to help kids track their progress and see how well they’re doing.

To create a multiplication chart, simply write out the multiplication facts from 0-12 (or however many your child is working on). Then, every time they correctly solve a multiplication problem, they can put a checkmark or sticker next to that number.

Once they’ve filled up the chart, they can trade it in for a prize (like a toy, a special treat, or extra screen time).

Give Them Compliments

Sometimes, all kids need is a little bit of encouragement. So, be sure to give them compliments when they’re doing well.

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You can say things like “Great job!” or “You’re doing so well!”. This will help them feel good about themselves and encourage them to keep up the good work.

Play Multiplication Games

As we mentioned above, there are a number of great multiplication games that kids can play. And, many of these games come with built-in rewards (like points, badges, or unlockables).

So, if your child is doing well in a game, be sure to praise them and let them know that they’re doing a great job. This will help them feel motivated to keep playing and practicing their multiplication facts.

9. Help Them When They Struggle

It’s important to remember that not all kids learn at the same pace.

Some kids will pick up multiplication quickly and others will struggle. And, that’s okay!

If your child is struggling, there are a number of things you can do to help them:

Break Things Down

If your child is having trouble with a certain multiplication problem, try breaking it down into smaller steps.

For example, if they’re struggling with 7 x 8, you can have them first solve 7 x 5 and then add 7 + 7 + 7. This will help them see that the problem can be solved by breaking it down into smaller pieces.

Use Manipulatives

If your child is having trouble visualizing multiplication problems, try using manipulatives.

For example, you can use a deck of cards to help them see how multiplication works. Simply have them draw two cards and then multiply the numbers together.

You can also use manipulatives to help kids understand division. For example, if they’re struggling with 8 ÷ 4, you can give them eight pieces of candy and have them divide it into four equal piles.

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Focus on One Thing at a Time

If your child is struggling with multiple multiplication facts, try focusing on just one thing at a time.

For example, you can have them focus on memorizing the 6’s facts for a week and then move on to the 7’s facts the following week.

You can also have them focus on one operation at a time (like just multiplication or just division). This will help them avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.

Give Them Time

Remember, not all kids learn at the same pace. So, it’s important to give your child time to learn and master multiplication.

If they’re struggling, don’t get frustrated or try to push them too hard. Just let them know that you’re there to help and that they can take their time.

Multiplication is a tough skill for many kids to learn. But, with a little bit of patience and practice, they’ll eventually get it.

Common Mistakes Children Make With Multiplication

Now, no matter how good your child is at multiplication, there are bound to be a few mistakes along the way.

Here are some of the most common mistakes kids make with multiplication and how you can help them avoid them:

1. Not Knowing Their Facts

Mother with book teaching her daughter.

One of the biggest mistakes kids make with multiplication is not knowing their facts.

If your child doesn’t know their multiplication facts, they’re going to struggle with more complex problems. So, it’s important to help them memorize their facts.

There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • You can use flashcards or an app like Math Flashcards to help them memorize their facts.
  • You can have them recite their facts out loud.
  • You can play multiplication games with them to help them learn their facts in a fun and engaging way.
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Whatever method you choose, just be sure to give your child plenty of time to memorize their facts. And, don’t get frustrated if they struggle at first. Just keep practicing and they’ll eventually get it.

2. Not Understanding Place Value

Another common mistake kids make is not understanding place value.

For example, when multiplying two-digit numbers, they might forget to carry over the ones digit. So, if they’re multiplying 35 x 4, they might calculate 3 x 4 = 12 and then just write down the 2, forgetting to carry over the 1.

To help your child avoid this mistake, make sure they understand place value. You can do this by having them solve problems with regrouping/carrying over. For example, you can have them solve 35 x 4 and then explain how they got their answer.

You can also use place value blocks or a hundreds chart to help them visualize place value. And, you can have them draw pictures to represent multiplication problems. For example, they can draw 35 circles and then divide them into four equal groups to show that 35 x 4 = 140.

Once your child understands place value, they’ll be less likely to make mistakes when multiplying two-digit numbers.

3. Not Understanding the Commutative Property

The commutative property is one of the most important concepts in multiplication. It states that the order of the factors does not affect the product.

So, if your child is multiplying 7 x 3, they would get the same answer if they multiplied 3 x 7.

Many kids struggle with this concept because it goes against what they’re used to. In addition, many word problems require kids to use the commutative property to solve them.

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To help your child understand the commutative property, you can have them solve problems where they have to switch the order of the factors. For example, you can have them solve 7 x 3 and then 3 x 7.

You can also use manipulative to help them visualize the concept. For example, you can use toy blocks or Cuisenaire rods.

Once your child understands the commutative property, they’ll be able to solve multiplication problems more easily.

How to Teach Teenagers (Who Struggle With) Multiplication

Sometimes, even teenagers struggle with multiplication. If your teenager is having trouble, there are a few things you can do to help them.

1. Make Sure They Know the Basics

Multiplication equation using colorful plastic numbers.

Before you can start teaching your teenager how to multiply, you need to make sure they know the basics. This includes being able to add, subtract, and divide. If they don’t have a firm grasp on these concepts, multiplication will be much harder for them.

If they have grasped these concepts, be sure to check if they know their multiplication facts, and check their ability to do basic equation manipulation. These skills are necessary for understanding how to multiply.

If they can do basic equation manipulation, but still struggle with getting the right multiplication answers, it’s time to start teaching them some tricks.

2. Use Games and Activities

One of the best ways to help your teenager learn anything is to make it fun. When it comes to multiplication, this means using games and activities. There are tons of great resources out there, so find what works best for your teenager.

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One popular game is flashcards. You can either use physical flashcards or online versions. This is a great way to help them memorize their multiplication facts.

Another option is to have them make up their own games. This can be anything from coming up with creative ways to solve multiplication problems to creating board games that involve multiplication.

Finally, you can find online multiplication games. These can be a great way to help them practice their skills in a fun and interactive way.

3. Explain the Concepts

Mother guiding son with his studies.

While games and activities are important, it’s also necessary to explain the concepts behind multiplication. This will help your teenager understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and it will make the whole process less daunting.

Start by explaining what multiplication is. This can be done with a simple definition or by using examples. Next, show them how to do basic multiplication problems. Once they understand the basics, you can start teaching them more difficult concepts, like long multiplication and multiplying fractions.

It’s also important to explain why multiplication is important. This will help them see its value and understand how it’s used in the real world.

Finally, be sure to answer any questions they have. This will help clear up any confusion and make sure they’re really understanding the concepts.

4. Try a Different Approach

Sometimes, the way we were taught in school isn’t the best way for everyone. If your teenager is having trouble with multiplication, try using a different approach. There are many different ways to multiply, so find one that works better for your teenager and stick with it.

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One popular method is the lattice method. This is a visual way to multiply that can be helpful for those who struggle with traditional methods.

5. Get Help From a Tutor

If your teenager is still struggling with multiplication, it may be time to get some help from a tutor. A tutor can help them understand the concepts and work on any areas they’re struggling with.

There are many tutoring options available, so find one that will work well for your teenager. You can hire a personal tutor, sign them up for an online tutoring program, or even have them join a study group.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re monitoring their progress. This will help you see if the tutoring is actually helping or if it’s time to try something else.

Multiplication can be a difficult concept for some teenagers to grasp. However, with patience and the right approach, it’s definitely possible to help them learn and understand it. Use the tips and tricks above, and you’ll be on your way to success.

The Top 10 Multiplication Resources for Parents and Teachers

Multiplication and numbers on wooden chart.

As a parent or teacher, you want to find the best resources to help your kids learn multiplication. After all, it’s an important skill that they’ll use throughout their lives.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 multiplication resources for parents and teachers. These resources will help make learning multiplication fun and easy for your kids.

1. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a great resource for all things multiplication. They have tons of helpful videos and articles that will help your kids understand the concepts behind multiplication.

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2. Math Is Fun

Math Is Fun is another great website for learning about multiplication. They have a variety of games and activities that will help your kids learn while having fun.

3. Cool Math Games

Cool Math Games has a ton of excellent multiplication games that will help your kids learn while they’re having fun. From racing games to memory games, there’s something for everyone.

4. Multiplication.com

Multiplication.com is a fantastic resource for both parents and teachers. They have a variety of games, activities, and worksheets that will help your kids learn about multiplication.

5. The Math Worksheet Site

The Math Worksheet Site is an awesome resource for printable multiplication worksheets. They have a ton of different worksheets available, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your kids.

6. Education.com

Education.com has a great selection of multiplication games, activities, and worksheets. They also have a variety of resources for teachers, so it’s a great site to bookmark for future reference.

7. Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets has a ton of great resources for teachers and parents. They have a variety of multiplication worksheets available, as well as games and activities.

8. Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers is a great resource for teachers. It’s a marketplace where teachers can buy and sell educational resources. You can find a variety of multiplication resources, including games, activities, and worksheets.

9. 123 Homeschool 4 Me

123 Homeschool 4 Me is an excellent resource for homeschooling families. They have a ton of great resources for all subjects, including multiplication.

10. Pinterest

Pinterest is a great place to find resources for anything and everything. You can find a variety of multiplication games, activities, and worksheets by searching the site.

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These are just a few of the great multiplication resources for parents and teachers. With so many excellent options available, you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for your kids.

The Bottom Line

Multiplication is a critical math skill that every child needs to learn. Not only does it provide a foundation for more advanced math concepts, but it also allows kids to perform calculations more quickly and easily in their everyday lives.

If your child is having trouble with multiplication, don’t despair. There are plenty of resources available to help them learn and master the skill. With a little patience and practice, they’ll be multiplying like a pro in no time.

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