4 easy and fun activities to teach multiples to children


In one of the previous posts, we discussed how to make factors super easy for kids using fun activities.

Once children get familiar with the concept of factors, it is time to learn multiples.

You will be surprised to know that many kids find it confusing to remember the difference between multiples and multiplication. At an early age, it is not difficult to confuse words (multiples and multiplication) that sound alike.

At this point, I am assuming that you have already taught your children skip counting. If not, you can read our post on 5 activities to teach skip counting to preschoolers.

Let’s begin with the 4 activities that you can use for teaching multiples to your children.

1. Multiples Tambola

You will need papers, pencils and index cards.

Start by taking papers and cutting them down to several small pieces. On each of those pieces, you will need to write multiples of numbers from one to ten. Each piece of paper will have only one multiple.

So, you will have all the multiple of 2 i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 on different pieces of paper. Put all of them in a bag and shuffle all the pieces.

Take the index cards and write down the numbers one to ten on it. Place them face down on the table.

Give your kid a pencil and a sheet of paper. Ask your kid to pick up one index card and write down the number on the paper.

You will randomly take out a piece of paper from the bag and read out the number. If the number is a multiple of the number on the index cards, your kid will write it down on the paper.

Keep playing until all the pieces of paper are out of the bag. If you are playing with many kids, your game will end once a kid has all of his/her multiples called out.

Alternatively, you can set a time limit. Let’s say you pull out the numbers for 2 minutes and stop. Whichever kid has the maximum number of multiples on their sheets will win the game.

You can also try this game for teaching factors to kids.

2. Colour the multiples

Do you remember playing the word game where you had to circle out the words from random letters in a box?

Looked like this –

Source: Wikipedia

Now, you will do it with numbers.

Write down the multiples of each number vertically and horizontally. It will look like this –

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30
4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40


Do this till the number 10. Make sure you have multiple copies of this grid.

Now, ask your kid to pick up one index card (you can use the same ones you created for the previous activity).

Let’s say the index card is 2.

Your kid will have to take the highlighter and mark all the multiples of 2. It is fun to see the patterns that emerge from this grid.

My son loved doing this! In his words, he felt like a detective trying to find a thief amongst so many people.

Yes, I know. Kids can be really fun and imaginative.

3. Simplify with Venn diagrams

I know what some of you might be thinking!

Venn diagram for such small kids, will they understand? Just stay with me on this activity.

Create a venn diagram with three circles. Each circle will have multiples of a different number. For example,

  • Circle 1 will be 2
  • Circle 2 will be 3
  • Circle 3 will be 4

It will look like this –

Source: Jimmies collage

Ask your kids to write down multiple of each number inside the circle until there is a common multiple. When they come across a common multiple, they have to write it down in the overlapping circles.

Now, don’t expect your kid to handle this on their own. Sit down with them and guide them through this.

It could your mommy and son/daughter time. Isn’t it?

4. Songs or poems on YouTube

Music, songs, poems, and videos are a great way to engage kids. You can easily teach your kids about different math concepts, including multiples, using music and poems

My son grew a liking towards this rap song for multiples.

While I find it too loud, my son quickly remembered multiples from this song so I had no problem!

Which ones are you planning to implement? Do you have more ideas for simplifying multiples for kids? We would love to hear from you.



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