Times tables activities & games to help children

Posted 9th March 2018 by Joe Stansfield

Help with times tables

We are always asked what are the best resources for practicing times tables in our shops by parents and teachers. In fact it’s one of our most commonly asked questions with regards to home study.

And let’s face it, times tables in schools aren’t going away. In fact the Department of Education is planning to test every year 4 pupil in England on their times tables from 2020. Selected Primary schools have started trialling the test this month. The exam is a on-screen timed test, to assess children’s knowledge of their times tables and speed. This new test will add even more pressure for parents to help their children with multiplication. 

So what can you do to help your child with their times tables?

We find the best solutions are easy to use and portable so that they can be used regularly, even with a busy schedule.  Little and often is always best! Games which are fun and educational can be tricky to find, but don’t worry we’ve played, scribbled over and twiddled with all of the below to ensure they’re up to scratch. We’ve only included products that test up to the 12x Tables to be compatible wth the National Numeracy Strategy.

Our best times table activities and games:

Usborne Times Table Practice Pad – £6.99 – for 6 years +

Kids can learn and practice their times tables with this multiplication revision book, with 75 tear out activity pages.

We really love the size and the content of this book. It’s A5 format is perfect for throwing in a backpack to take with you. The varied pages have different approaches for testing understanding, from speed calculations to multiplication grids, and it offers a thorough work out in mastering multiplication.

Dude Dice & Cup Cake Dice Level 1  – £8.00 – for 6 years+

  Children's cup cake dice maths game with 3 chunky dice and 3 colourful cakesChildren's mental maths game with 3 chunky dice and monsters to win

Dude Dice & Cup Cake Dice Level 2  – £8.00 – for 9 years+

These are really about improving Mental Maths, not purely times tables but they deserve a mention as they get great feedback from parents. They make a great “handbag game” and are easy to play in a restaurant or on a train. All players have to do the maths, but the winner is all about the luck of the roll so younger players have an equal chance of winning.

Mathlink Cubes – £11.00 – for 3+ years

Mathlink Activity Pack – £16.00 – 4+

Snap together Math Link Cubes set with 100 multilink cubes in 10 different coloursMath cubes toy that link in multiple ways to teach different maths concepts

These are a great manipulative for visually representing numbers that can be used throughout the Primary Maths subjects, from counting and sorting sets to understanding fractions and relationships in maths. They are really useful for children to get their hands and eyes on how multiplying sets look in 3D eg: creating 3 sets of 3 to see that the total is made up of 9 individual cubes. There are loads of great activities described online of how parents use them in the home environment. Alternatively for something you can use straight out of the box try the expanded Math Link Activity set. It comes with activity sheets for younger children.

Math Trekker Multiplication & Division – £10.00 – for 7+ years

Electronic multiplication and division maths practice toy for children

An electronic flashcard that lets you choose a particular ‘X’ Table to practice or you can choose the random test mode to get a quick fire quiz on all the tables. The carabiner clip attaches to a backpack or a jacket to keep it handy for practice anytime, anywhere.

Zoobookoo Cube Times Table Book – £8.00 – for 6+ years

Multiplication cube book with foldable hinged pages covering times tables up to 12

This is a great product for fiddling and learning at the same time. The clever jointed cube allows children to turn the cube inside out to discover the different tables.  They will not want to put these down- so much more satisfying to handle than a traditional book. You can add a testing element by rolling 2 dice and having the child find the matching pair on the cube.

Times table problems always have a “right answer” so with some practice, all children are capable of becoming confident and competent. Practice makes perfect. For more maths games and activities click here!

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