How to teach multiplication tables

How to teach multiplication tables

At some point, every parent is probably considering how to teach multiplication tables.

As both a teacher and a tutor, this was something I gave a considerable amount of thought about it.

There are lots of methods – and you will want to try different methods with different children. I suggest you bookmark this page so you can come back to it (Control +D). Don’t keep pushing a method they hate and don’t try to move too fast, especially if they are under 7. You will, no doubt, come across parents who are delighted that their children know their tables at an early age, but children are all different. The important thing is not to put them off. It really is a case of slow and steady wins the race.

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I shall divide this into very rough age sections.

6-7 years olds

Here I would concentrate on playing games.

Try creating some cards with your child to use for matching games. They don’t need to be playing card size.

Let your child choose a theme – eg Star Wars, dolphins, whatever they like. Then take one of the tables and create a few cards to match.



I have done this on PowerPoint – which makes it really easy to get the pictures from the clipart section and you can reprint anytime you want.

You could start out by just printing two sets of up to 5 x 2 and match them, counting the dolphins, ordering them and telling stories – 2 dolphins were swimming in the sea when they saw two more, so they swam over to see them. Now there were four.

This age group also like to sing songs. You can find some on Youtube for free.

Start with 2s, 5s and 10s and then if/when ready also include 3s and 4s.

Also, don’t feel you have to be doing everything at once. Try picking a few cards, eg 2 x 6, 3 x 3, 4 x 2, 5 x 5, 3 x 10, and use those to put in order, match, and play snap or war.

Some useful multiplication songs.

The 2 times table song
The 2 times table song











Another version of the same song but with the multiplier coming second.

Reggae beatz the 2 times table
Reggae beatz the 2 times table










Click on this link to find more times tables created by Reggae Beatz.


Click on this link for more multiplication songs by Jack Hartmann

7-9 year olds

This is when most of the learning of tables should take place so that your children are ready for more complex multiplication and division calculations.

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do and resources available.

Carry on playing the games suggested above but introducing new sets of cards or buy some multiplication tables games cards.

Choose a game board you have at home and write some cards for it.  For instance, if you have a trivial pursuit board you could say if you land on a yellow you have to answer a 2 times question.  If you have a monopoly board you could replace the chance and community chest question with these cards – use the money to help you answer the questions.  The object of the game could be to collect the most properties, forget about houses and hotels when you start playing.

These cards could be useful to use – SmartyMaths Times Table Flash Cards Set of 144

Here we have an interesting game you can play with an ordinary pack of cards. It’s called Tables Combination.

Try the Maths trainer at .  Start with tables already know and do a minute at a time.  Change the question cut-off to 1 day otherwise children get really disheartened. Once they know tables well try introducing the 8-second cut-off.  Some children love this – others don’t!! has a great set of arcade type games. For a mixture of tables try Granny Prix, to pick individual tables or any mixture try Pirate Multiplication but those are just my favourites. Let your child choose their own.


10-15 year olds

At this age, if children haven’t learnt their tables they are often really fed up of people trying to make them learn them so it is really important to try and do things which engage their interest. is popular.

This Romany method really grabs some older children and adults who have struggled – and a useful step towards learning them. Younger children are much less likely to take to this in my experience.

Learn your times tables fast This video explains which are the hardest few sums to learn and makes it feel easier to accomplish the task by breaking it down.



Mindset is so important – try using these affirmations and others you make up.

Everday in every way – I am enjoying maths more.

I am an amazing mathematician!

Each day I learn something new.

I can do anything.

I and my family are good at maths.

I didn’t know I was good at maths but I am!


I hope this helps!

Try to help your child enjoy the process, and try to enjoy the time you are spending with your child.

If you have comments, suggested youtube videos, games, suggestions or any questions please ask them below and I will try and answer them asap.

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