A Fun Way To Learn Multiplication Tables

Directions for creating a fun project with your child to help him learn basic arithmetic multiplication facts without flashcards.

Memorizing the multiplication tables can be frustrating for some children and their parents. Many people make use of the old stand-by flashcards to help the child memorize the multiplication facts. This is an effective method. However, this article will show how parent and child can work together on a fun project that will help the child learn multiplication.

This project is especially useful for children who have a need to touch and feel things while they are learning something new. Children with this learning style are called kinesthetic learners. Learning activities where the child is actively involved in the process are very effective for these types of children.

For this project, you will need a regular sized poster board, marker and peel-and-stick Velcro strips. The Velcro strips can be found where sewing materials are sold. Cut the poster board in half. On one half, write the numbers one through twelve along the top and down the side. Using a ruler, draw separating lines horizontally and vertically from these numbers so you have 144 empty squares drawn, forming a grid. Each empty square has numbers corresponding to it that you wrote on the outside. For example, if you take your finger and put it on the three at the top and the four along the side and run your fingers across and down until you meet, that empty square would be filled with a twelve because three times four equals 12.

Take the other piece of poster board and cut out 144 squares the same size as the squares you have drawn with the marker. Write the answers to the multiplication problems from the ones to the twelves. Cut the Velcro strips that have peel-and-stick backing into pieces sized to fit onto the back of these little cut-out squares. Peel and stick one part of the Velcro on the empty squares on the big poster board and stick the other part on the back side of the little cut-out squares. Now the answers to the multiplication table can be removed and replaced easily.

Your child can manipulate these squares and put the correct number on the corresponding square. He will very soon see the patterns and properties involved in the multiplication table. Playing with this board will reinforce basic concepts of multiplication.

There are a variety of ways to use the board. For example, you can show him that some answer squares have the identical numbers on them. As he sees which multiplication facts have these numbers in common, he will be learning about factoring, which is very important in fractions and algebra. Another activity is to pile all the squares and challenge him to put it together correctly within a certain amount of time.

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