Teaching simple multiplication to children

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In fundamental mathematics, addition and subtraction come easily to children because it is so intuitive and can be taught with your fingers. However, when it comes to multiplication, it needs to be taught in a fun, logical way for children to really grasp it.

The first step in teaching multiplication is to explain that Multiplication is nothing but repeated addition. Towards this end, you can use simple dough of any kind that you make at home out of (rice flour, wheat flour etc). Children like to squish things and use their hands. Playing and teaching with dough makes it more fun for them. You can add colouring agents if you want to make it even more interesting as shown in the picture below. Just make small balls of the dough and arrange it on a tray or plate. Show how multiplication is nothing by repeated addition.

You could start by counting the number of balls in each row. Then count all of the balls together and show how grouping and multiplying is the same as adding again and again.

Multiplication war: Once you have taught children how to multiply, next you can reinforce it with games. Have a deck of regular playing cards in which the picture cards have been removed. Players pull out two cards at a time. They multiply the numbers and call it out loud. Whoever has the highest wins and keeps the two cards as winnings. The rest of the cards go back in the pile and are shuffled for the next round. This is great to play as a family if you are trying to teach a young one.
Rock Paper Scissors with a Twist: Play this age-old game with your child with a twist! Only difference is instead of shouting rock/paper/scissors, both players call out a single digit number. The person who multiplies and calls out the answer first wins!

Dice: You have played dice games with your children. Now you can use them to reinforce multiplication in your child. Each player rolls a pair of dice and quickly multiplies them. Whoever has the bigger number wins.

Most of us did not think of rules when we learned multiplication the traditional way, however, there are some cool tricks to multiply easily which will make it much easier for a young child to master multiplication. Remembering these rules will remove some of the difficulty in multiplication as a concept.

Number 0: Any number multiplied by 0 = 0. For example, 7 X 0 = 0
Number 1: Any number multiplied by 1 is the number itself. For example, 6 x 1 = 6
Number 2: Adding the number to itself, is multiplying it by 2 – For example 8 + 8 = 8 x2
Number 3: Multiplying by 3 means, doubling the number and adding it one more time – For example 4x 3 = 4×2 + 4
Number 4: Multiplying by 4 means, doubling a number and doubling the result! For example: 6 x 4 = 6x 2= 12 and then 12 X 2 = 24!
Number 5: Multiplying by 5 can be easily done by skip counting by 5 – 5,10,15,20,25 etc
Number 10: Just add a zero to the end of any number

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