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Beginning Multiplication

March 12, 0002

Multiplication is simply repeated addition. For example, 3+3+3+3=12 or 3×4=12. We have some tips to help you with your child to memorize the multiplication facts.

When your child knows his addition facts, he is ready to learn how to multiply.

A great transition activity for multiplication is called “skip counting”. Most children have no problem counting by 2’s so we build on that skill. If your child can’t skip count, than he probably isn’t ready for multiplication facts yet.

Children associate multiplication with being a big kid, so it’s exciting stuff.

Prerequisites and Skills for Beginning Multiplication


Skills Covered

  • Skip Counting
  • Multiply

Learning to Multiply Activities

Skip Counting

The best way to explain skip counting is to give an example, counting by 2’s is 2, 4, 6, 8 or counting by 5’s is 5, 10, 15, etc.

chart of number pattern your child is working on
ball, jump rope or any suitable object he would like to use
  1. Have your son make a card or chart to post in front of him of the numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8 through 24. These are the 2 times table through 12.
  2. As your son is saying the pattern have him roll a ball against a wall, bounce the ball, jump using a jump rope or do jumping jacks.- OR -This is a fun way to practice! Sit on the floor facing each other and stretch out your legs in a v-shape with your feet touching (this will prevent the ball from rolling too far) start by saying 2, roll the ball across to your son then he needs to say 4 and return it. Continue rolling the ball back and forth through 24. My students liked to do this activity with me.When your child is really comfortable doing the pattern, you can change it up to make it more of a challenge by starting with 24 and working backwards.You can do the same thing with any motion; jumping jacks, jump rope, clapping… it helps engage your child’s brain and helps your son retain the information.The chart is there for him to refer to but as he gets more comfortable doing it, he won’t use it.
  3. When he is practicing the skip counting for each number (for instance: the 2’s), have him make up his own flashcards.
  4. He’ll do the same activities for each of the set of multiplication facts.  Do the facts in this order 3’s, 5’s, 9’s, 10’s, 4’s, 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s, 11’s and 12’s.Doing it in this order your son will gain success learning a great number of facts in a short time.


– 3″ x 5″ cards or paper cut into a uniform size
– markers or pencil


  1. In order to help your child learn the facts more quickly, have him write out his own cards while he says them to himself.
  2. Have him write out the cards horizontally:

2 x 4 =

and vertically:


x 4

  • the inverse (2 x 4 and 4 x 2)
    If he learns the inverse operation of each multiplication facts, he will double the number of facts he knows!
  • and the division facts.
  1. Have him put the answers on the back of the card.
    Not that you don’t trust him, but check the answers, the last thing you want is for your son to memorize the facts incorrectly.If he really struggles with remembering all of the facts, have him write the facts out with the answers on the cards. Some children benefit from being able to see the whole problem. After a while, these cards can be replaced with cards with no answer on them. By the time you are quizzing him, he’ll no longer need the visual clue.

    You can have your child write the multiplication facts for each group on different color 3″x5″ cards, this way if your child needs to work on the 2’s for example, he would pull out the yellow cards or the blue cards for the 3’s and so on.

  2. As he gains an understanding of the 2’s and moves onto the 3 times table, include the flashcards from the 2’s for review. Continue to add the new cards he is working on to the facts he has learned. It’s the old adage, use it or lose it.
  3. One way to practice with the flashcards is by laying all the cards on the table face up, then have him turn over the cards or pick them up as he says the answer. If he likes, he can use a stopwatch to see how fast he can do it! With practice, the answers will come quicker.

Multiplication Chart

– [filebase:file:file=1:tpl=simple]
– markers/crayons
  • After your son has had an opportunity to work with the facts, quiz him. When he can give you the answer within 5 seconds, without counting on his fingers or figuring it out in his head, than he probably has a good understanding of the facts.
  • Have your son fill in the chart as he shows his understanding or mastery of the facts. He’ll see how far he has come in such a short time.
  • Continue to include facts that he has learned when you quiz him in order for him not to forget them.
  • Any facts he is still unsure of, have him make another flash card for it. That way he’ll see it more often, the more repetition the more chances to retain the facts.

Re-enforcement Activities for Multiplication

  1. Sing songs like: 2, 4, 6, 8 – Who do we appreciate?
  2. Have him come up with his own music tape with the facts to listen to. It can be very simple – just as long as he can hear the facts.
  3. He can sing to a favorite tune in the background or just to a melody that is easy to say the facts to or he can make up different voices for different facts making his voice high or low or silly. For instance: saying the facts in a sing song voice pausing for the answer.
  4. He can take the tape with him and listen to it
  5. It is a fun way to hear the facts repeatedly – especially if he records it.

Multiplication Assessment

Informally ask your son multiplication facts while your driving in the car or taking a walk. This will give you a feeling if he knows his facts or not. The point isn’t to make it painful but to see what facts he is stumped on and needs more work or that he is doing very well and is ready to move on. Praise him for his effort!

Multiplication Online

Here are some online sources for free multiplication games:

Games and Times Attack. For the full version of the game Times Attack there is a charge, but your son can play it first to see if it appeals to him. It looks more like a video game with a story line rather then just practicing facts.

Basic concentration games, but they have added cool graphics to make it engaging. There are also division games to help your son master that skill as well.

Wide variety of topics, but the games are just quizzing facts. If that appeals to your son, have him check it out.

Variety of games, but it can be intense at the speed that the games go. So if your son likes a challenge, this might be the perfect place for him to go for practicing his facts.

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