Fun Multiplication Games For Children!

Learning multiplication can be a challenging task for a young child.  Fortunately, there are a number of tactics which can make the process fun and enjoyable.  One of those tactics is using fun multiplication games.

Using fun math games to teach multiplication has a number of advantages including:

  • Your child will want to play these fun math games — they won’t be a chore.  Their intrinsic motivation to learn is much higher.
  • Your child will be interested and engaged while learning
  • They will begin to understand how mathematics relates to the real world
  • Practical mathematical applications are easier to remember than memorization of mathematical tables.  They gain number sense — a fluidity and flexibility with numbers.
  • You can have fun with your child while solving problems that give them a deeper understanding of multiplication and maths
  • Instead of simply memorizing multiplication tables, they will improve their strategic thinking, problem solving, mathematical communication and mathematical reasoning skills!
  • Children get to choose the activity they enjoy the most.

Educators and academics have developed many fun multiplication games which parents can play with their children.  Here are a few of the best!

Skip Counting With a Ball

This is a fun game for children who are just learning about multiplication.  It combines physical activity with maths and helps them memorize basic multiplication tables.  Skip counting refers to “counting by numbers” — where the student counts by two’s (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10) by three’s (3, 6, 9, 12, 15) and so on.

Stand a few feet away from your child and throw them a ball.  As you throw it, call out the first number “2”.  They will catch the ball and throw it back while calling “4”.  If the ball is dropped, the counting process starts again.  You are trying to reach the highest number possible and set a new record.  You can write the highest number reached on a poster so the child can be proud of their achievement!

Skip Counting To Make Art

If your child has an artistic side, you could try combining skip counting with art.  Tell your child you are going to skip count by 2’s, 3’s or 4’s.  They will write each number on a blank sheet of paper with a dot beneath it.  The numbers can be placed anywhere on the paper.

The goal is to create a picture of something by joining those dots together.  It helps to think of an object before placing the dots on the page.  The more numbers they can skip count, the more elaborate their artwork becomes!

Basic Multiplication With Playing Cards

Playing cards are a fantastic tool for teaching multiplication.  You can start with a limited number of cards to focus on basic mathematics then work your way up to advanced problem solving with a full deck.

Take out the face cards (King, Queen, Jack, Joker) and most of the higher cards from the deck.  Flip two cards for your child, then ask your child to multiply them.  Explain the results using other cards to give them a deeper understand of how it was reached.  If you flipped a 2 and a 4, the child would find an 8 card in the deck.

If they are just learning basic multiplication, explain the solution using the markings on the cards.  Show them that the 8 card has two lots of 4.  Eventually, speed up the game and stop using answer cards.

8 Rolls to 100

The goal of this fun multiplication game is to reach 100 by rolling a pair of dice 8 times.  It is ideal for children who have just learned their times table and want a challenge.  Keep track of the least number of rolls and play the game repeatedly to see if they can beat that record.

Multiplication Snap

This fun maths game will test your child’s reaction speed and multiplication skills!  Take all of the face cards  out of a deck of playing cards.  Then decide on a “snap number” — a random number players will be looking for.  For this example, we’ll use 12.

Flip two cards and multiply them in your head.  If they multiply to 12 then players attempt to place their hand on the pile of cards as quickly as possible.  The first person to do so wins the hand.  You can make the game more complex and exciting by adding two or more snap numbers.

First to 500

This is a slightly more advanced game ideal for children who already understand basic multiplication.  Each player will throw three dice.  From those dice they choose two numbers to add and multiply that total by the third number.

For example if I threw 2, 4 and 6, I could create: (2 + 4) times 6 = 36, (2 + 6) times 4 = 32 or (4 + 6) times 2 = 20.  The aim is to calculate the highest possible number from the three dice.  The number is added to a cumulative total and the first player past 500 wins!  It is a very fun multiplication game and your child will be very excited when they beat you.

Additional Resources
There are many other great resources for fun multiplication games online including: