We believe that everyone can master their times tables. It really is just a question of practice makes perfect and repetition gets results! However, sometimes it can be hard to fit practice in amongst the chaos of life. Luckily, there are lots of fun ways you can incorporate multiplications into your busy daily routine. Here are some of our favourite ideas for livening-up memorising multiplications.
1. Travelling with tables
Do you walk to school? Or do you catch the bus or Tube? Use lamp posts, hedges, road-signs or people pushing prams as inspiration for tables questions! For example, if there are 2 buses with 6 people on each, what’s 6 x 2?
2. A pack of cards
Carry a pack of cards with you and get them out when your child has a spare moment, perhaps when you are both waiting for their sibling to finish swimming! A child learning a single table, such as the four times table, picks a card and multiplies the number on it by, so that the three of Hearts becomes 3 x 4. You can ask a more advanced times tabler to pull out two cards and multiply them together – for example, the eight of Spades and the two of Diamonds becomes 8 x 2.
3. Tables tennis
A fun game of speed! You serve the imaginary ball by asking your child a tables question; your child returns it by answering as fast as they can. If they are correct, ask another tables question, keeping the rally going until they get one wrong or get to a target you have set in advance. See how long they can keep the rally going! You can adjust the difficulty of the questions you ask in order to encourage them.
4. A Tables Fable
Create a ten-minute tale about different numbers embarking on journeys (such as ‘Timothy Three’ or ‘Susan Six’!). As you tell your story, incorporate multiplication questions into it. For example, “Susan Six has to answer a question to be allowed to cross the bridge… what’s three times six?”. If your child answers correctly, the character can progress, and if not, they have to find an alternative route and answer a different question.
5. Time tables
If you taught your children to tell the time using plastic or cardboard clock faces, you can easily adapt it to teach them their times tables as well! Simply ask your child to multiply the numbers that the two hands are pointing at. You can keep one hand static while the other is moved around the face to practice one particular table, or move them around more randomly for the more advanced learner.
6. Repetition, repetition
Sometimes repetition is the most effective way to learn. Rather than simply reciting tables, you can make it more interesting by making each table into its own rap or song!
7. Support learning with technology
Along with these suggestions, apps such as DoodleTables can be helpful. With lots of fun and engaging questions tailored to each child’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s a great way to practice your tables!
DoodleTables is available as part of a DoodleMaths subscription, available in the Apple AppStore, Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.
Article by Lucy at DoodleMaths.