10 tips for kids to help with times tables: Wot so Funee?

10 tips for helping kids with their times tables

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Wot So Funee?I’m doing ok with my times tables. Mummy comes in to test my class on their progress, so she knows that compared to the rest of my class I’m doing well. I know my 2/3/4/5/9/10/11 tables by rote, by random question, and by division question, so it’s all good. However, my best friend has completed every single one of her times tables challenges, and received 25 house points to boot. I find this unacceptable, and so I’m adamant that my goal on return to school in a week’s time is to nail those pesky stragglers 6/7/8 and 12. Thing is, I don’t get excited about maths, and would rather be creating the world’s next outrageous invention than asking for help with times tables.


So Mummy has been trying to incentivise me, and dreaming up ruses to make me practice. One such ploy is to use any bit of down time to make me recite my times tables. Usually this means barking an order at me in the back of the car as she drives to the supermarket/chip shop/park. (She makes the Bug practice his number bonds at the same time). But she recently overstepped the mark, asking me to recite my 5’s whilst waiting for my meal at a lovely restaurant. This is how I repaid her:

What? I was relaxing!

Tips to help kids with their times tables

Here are some things we’ve found that do work. Times tables are all about repetition. I need to be able to recall any given multiplication sum off the top of my head, and the only way I’m going to do that is by really drilling it:

  1. Have a visual of whichever table you’re working on pinned up in your room. Better still, somewhere specific where you spend time every day. My 5 times table is currently blu-tacked to the bathroom mirror – I have to run through it in my head as I brush my teeth.
  2. Say it out loud as you’re walking up the  stairs – each step is another multiplication.Luckily we have 12 steps!
  3. Donna, from Little Lilypad Co suggests making the table into a song or rhyme to make it more fun – even better if children can make up their own rhyme.
  4. There are lots of number based games that can help. We have Cupcake Dice and Dude Dice from ZooBooKoo. These are a cute set of dice games that Mummy carries in her bag, to play whenever we have a spare moment. It’s good sum practice as well as multiplication, and we’re distracted by the fact that it’s a game. Emma, from Mummy Mummy Mum also suggests Yahtzee for fun number practice.
  5. The car seems to be a favourite place for practice – Becky from Baby Budgeting plays one of the many CD’s available to help whilst in the car, as well as using multiplication in everyday life, for example, while sharing out crackers or counting out money.
  6. Teachers swear by making it fun. Karen from Bizzy Mum recommends the Terrific Times Tables book to make it all more fun, whilst Kirsty from Damson Lane says her kids would have played all day on Mathletics, a paid-for, but brilliant app to engage children in healthy competition.
  7. Kelly from Domestic Goddesque says that visual aids help make it easier for her children to take the painful tables on board, “I cut out pairs of socks for twos, hands for fives etc, and we have them up in the kitchen where they can see them.” 
  8. Cheat! Joy from Pink Oddy points out that there are lots of little tricks for added confidence when learning times tables. Like with tens it’s just adding a 0 on the number; with nines it’s up 1 ten, down 1 unit etc.
  9. Finally, Chloe from Cookie Jar Life points out that there are lots of times tables videos on You Tube that give some great ideas and tips for kids who are struggling. Sheesh! I don’t know why I’m even complaining! Mummy says none of this stuff was around in her day. No wonder she has to use a crib sheet when she’s testing my classmates 😉
  10. Finally, use your down time. What could be more boring than the school-run? Jenny and Cass both fill that time with chanting of times tables. I bet they’re a great site on a school morning!

Do you have any good tips to help with times tables? As you can see, I need a bit of practice on my 5’s… 😉

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30 thoughts on “10 tips for kids to help with times tables: Wot so Funee?”

  1. Brilliant video! We used to be bribed into learning all our tables by the teacher buying us a Cadbury’s Flake when we knew them all. They’ll get lodged in your head when they’re good and ready.

  2. i remember at my primary school we used to play buzz – http://www.multiplication.com/teach/classroom-games#BUZZ
    it was a fun way of learning

    very funny GG – you look like your mummy x
    thanks for the tips too – i always hated maths x

  3. Love your response and Mummy got some good tips there also, good luck on craking the ones your having trouble with x

  4. Love the video, How similar are GG and Mummy!

    Trick for 9 times tables put your hands in front of you, with little finger on left hand representing 1 each finger increase number to little finger on right representing 10. so for 9×3 for example but down third finger [middle finger left hand] which leaves two fingers before the down finger, these represent the 10s so as there are two this makes 20 and the fingers to the right of the down finger are 7 fingers and the units which is 7 units, together thats 27. So 9×10 is little finger down on right hand, 9 to the left of it so 9 tens and no fingers to the right so 0 units makes 90.

  5. Ha! Clever girl 🙂 Some great tips here, too. I’ve linked up with a rewrite of Tragedy about toddler tantrums (because I’m suffering from the fallout!) 😉

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