Learning times tables or multiplication facts is more effective when you make the learning process fun. Fortunately, there are a variety of games for children that require very little effort to play that will help them learn the rules of multiplication and commit them to memory.

## Multiplication Snap Card Game

An easy way to practice times tables at home, the multiplication snap card game requires only an ordinary deck of playing cards.

- Remove the face cards from the deck.
- Shuffle the remaining cards.
- Distribute the cards between two players.
- Each player keeps their pile of cards face-down.
- At the same time, each player turns over a card.
- The first player to multiply the two numbers together and state the answer is the winner and takes the cards.
- The first player to collect all of the cards
*or*the most cards in a specific amount of time is declared the winner.

This game should only be played with children who have a good grasp of their multiplication tables. Random facts are only helpful if a child has already mastered the twos, fives, 10s, and squares (two-by-two, three-by-three, four-by-four, five-by-five, etc.) times tables. If not, it is important to modify the game. To do this, concentrate on a single fact family or squares. In this case, one child turns over a card and it is always multiplied by four, or whichever times tables are currently being worked on. For working on the squares, each time a card is turned over, the child that multiplies it by the same number wins. When playing the modified version, the players take turns revealing a card, as only one card is needed. For instance, if a four is turned over, the first child to say 16 wins; if a five is turned over, the first to say 25 wins.

## Two Hands Multiplication Game

This is another two-player game that requires nothing but a method to keep score. It is a bit like rock-paper-scissors as each child says "three, two, one," and then they hold up one or both hands to represent a number. The first child to multiply the two numbers together and say it out loud gets a point. The first child to 20 points (or any number agreed upon) wins the game. This particular game is also a great game for playing in the car.

## Paper Plate Multiplication Facts

Take 10 or 12 paper plates and print one number on each plate. Give each child a set of paper plates. Each child takes a turn holding up two plates, and if their partner responds with the correct answer within five seconds, they earn a point. Then it's that child's turn to hold up two plates and the other child's chance to multiply the numbers. Consider awarding small pieces of candy for this game as it provides some incentive. A point system can also be used, and the first person to 15 or 25 points wins.

## Roll the Dice Game

Using dice to commit the multiplication facts to memory is similar to the multiplication snap and paper plate games. Players take turns rolling two dice and the first one to multiply the number rolled by a given number wins a point. Establish the number that the dice will be multiplied by. For instance, if you are working on the nine times table, each time the dice are rolled, the number is multiplied by nine. If children are working on squares, each time the dice are rolled, the number rolled is multiplied by itself. A variation of this game is for one child to roll the dice after the other child specifies the number used to multiply the roll. This allows each child to play an active part in the game.