5 Tricks to help your child learn times tables

Does your child struggle to remember times tables? Kids First’s fully qualified maths teachers share 5 of their favourite tricks for learning times tables more easily.

4 times tables – No trouble when you can double

If your child is able to double a number, the 4 times table can be made much easier

Just double the number , then double again
For example, take 7 x 4
First, double 7 ( 7 x 2 =14)
Then, take your doubled up number and double it again (14 x 2 = 28)
And there you have your answer , 4 x 7 = 28

8 times tables – double, double and double again

Many children find the 8 times tables hard to remember, but it’s easy when they learn that it’s just a matter of doubling once, doubling twice, then doubling a third time

For example, 2 x 8 = 16
To double, double and double again, you simply work it out this way
Double once: 2 x 2 = 4
Double twice: 4 x 2 = 8
Double a third and final time: 8 x 2 = 16

9 times tables – the finger trick

To work out the 9 times tables, spread your hands in front of you with palms down.

Start with 9 x 1…. put your left pinky finger down.
How many fingers are showing? The answer is 9 (9 x 1 =9)
Move on to 9 x 2… put your second finger down (the left ring finger).
How many fingers are showing? There’s a gap between 1 finger and the other 8 fingers. The answer is 18. (2 x 9 = 18)
Try again by putting your third finger down
How many fingers are showing? There’s now a gap between 2 fingers and the other 7 fingers. The answer is 27. (3 x 9 = 27)

This trick works for all of the 9 times tables through to 9 x 9 (8 and 1. 81).

10 times tables – Remember the rhyme

Here’s a rhyme that we made up here at Kids First. It may sound a little dorky, but kids find it easy to remember!
10 times tables are easy when you know, that on the end you put a zero
For example: 5 x 10 = 50 and 2 x 10 = 20

11 times tables – Use that number again

It’s easy to multiply a number by 11 – just duplicate the first numeral

For example, 6 x 11 = 66 and 3 x 11 = 33
If your child wants a real challenge, you can even go further with the 11 times tables
To multiply double digits by 11, split them up
Your answer to 11 x double digit questions will have will have three numbers.
To find the answer, split the first and second digit up and find the ‘mystery middle number’ by adding them together
For example, 11 x 16 = 1 ? 6
Add 1 and 6 and you have your mystery number – 7
And the answer is 176 (11 x 16 = 176)

This article was written by Sonja Walker
Teacher & Kids First founder
© 2014 Kids First Children’s Services

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