Knowing times tables and how to multiply numbers is an essential skill that children will use throughout their school career. Most children know their times tables by the age of nine and start learning at around seven.
Teaching multiplication to children however, can sometimes feel a bit repetitive. In this guide, we provide our top tips for how to make learning times tables fun.
Start with the Lower Tables First
When it comes to teaching times tables, it makes sense to start at the beginning. It can be tempting to simply skip the one times table as all it involves is counting to ten, right?
This may be true, but practicing the one times table is the perfect way to familiarise your child with how multiplication tables work. Once the get used to the concept of multiplication and can recite their one times table up to ten, they’ll already have the basic patterns in place.
Demonstrate to your child how one number multiplied by another number gives a final answer. It can be useful to write out the one times table using a pen and paper, so they get used to seeing the numbers written as well as spoken. Once your child is familiar with the one times table, you can introduce them to the two and three times tables in a similar way.
Memorise Each One by Heart
Before you can introduce more creative ways of teaching tables, your child needs to understand the basics. In order to recite them automatically, your child needs to learn the order in which they appear in each table. The most effective way of learning this is through regular repetitive practice, so that it becomes ingrained into their memory.
When children first start learning their tables, the concept of multiplication can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, practicing little and often helps break down the task of learning each one up to ten.
Create Times Table Flash Cards
Once your child can recite their tables up to three, a good way to reinforce what they’ve learned is to introduce flash cards. You can buy times tables cards online, or if you’re feeling creative, you can make them with your child.
Making the cards together will help motivate your child to practice with them in the future. Cut out card shapes from cardboard and write each individual multiplication on one card each, with the answer on the back.
For example, on one card, you’d write ‘1 x 1 =’, and on the back of the card you’d write ‘1’. If you do this every time your child learns a new table, you’ll soon have a full set of flashcards that you can use to quiz your child with.
Teach them the Tricks
As we soon come to realise, maths is full of tricks and shortcuts. To help your child work out multiplication questions quicker, introduce them to some shortcuts that will make things easier.
For example, show them that with the two times table, the numbers keep doubling each time. Once they see that the numbers up to ten are doubled, they’ll find it easier to answer multiplication questions in their head. For example, if they’re asked ‘2 x 6’, they’ll know that by adding ‘6 + 6’ they’ll arrive at the answer.
Similarly, show them that with the nine times table, the numbers can be thought of in columns. The numbers in the left column always go up in order, and the numbers in the right column always go down in order. Visualising the two columns can be a useful way for children to work out multiples of nine in their head.
With the ten times table, show them that the numbers are always in ascending order with a ‘zero’ added to the end, e.g. ‘5 x 10 = 50’. And when it comes to learning the eleven times table, show them that the numbers are always duplicated, e.g. ‘2 x 2 = 22’.
Listen to Times Tables Songs
Music and rhymes can make learning times tables more fun. Even having songs on in the background will get your child used to hearing the numbers spoken aloud in order. There are lots of times tables songs on YouTube, in all different styles. Here are some of our favourites:
Display Times Tables Posters
Hanging times table posters on your child’s bedroom wall is a great way to reinforce their learning. At Edu Prints Plus, we have a whole range of times table posters that are perfect for bedrooms and classrooms alike. Our wall prints can be studied consciously, or they can simply be displayed to reinforce your child’s learning subconsciously.
All of our times table prints are made from high-quality 350 gsm art card with a lovely velvet finish. Each one also has added surface protection to combat sticky hands and spillages.
If you’re looking for a creative way to tech your child times tables, you’ll find our posters are a great addition to their learning. All of our prints use bright, bold colours and easy-to-read fonts.
Here are two of our favourite times table prints below: