Teaching Multiplication with Hands-On Learning

Teaching Multiplication with Hands-On Learning

Practicing multiplication facts can be boring for kids, especially if they’re already inundated with flashcards from addition and subtraction. But multiplication doesn’t have to be difficult! Using hands-on skills to help students visualize and work with the numbers encourages them to see it as fun.  In addition, lots of online games offer a fun way to practice their skills that makes it seem less like work and more like play.

What Are Hands On Ways to Teach Multiplication?


The basics of multiplication lie in grouping.  Multiplication is simply knowing the total number in a select number of groups. For example, 5 x 3 is simply 5 groups of 3, or 3 groups of 5.  Helping your child be able to visualize this in their head and utilize those skip counting skills will help them to succeed in practicing their times tables. If you’ve already taught skip counting, the number sequences are in their heads.  They just need to access the correct one. Let them make groups of things and come up with the total.  Get a bag of pom poms or candy pieces and let them sort by color into equal groups to share. Then figure out the total number by looking at the number in the group by the group. Kids love manipulatives!

Playing Store

Figuring out how much it will cost to buy what is needed is a great hands-on way to practice multiplication skills. Plan to have a party with your child, and have them figure out the number of guests and party items needed to buy based on packaging.  So, for example, if you have 6 guests and each guest will eat 2 slices of pizza, how many slices do you need?  You can have them draw pictures, plan the party, and maybe even celebrate for real.

In Context

Some kids struggle with the concrete numbers but excel at real-world concepts. Baking is a great way to help with multiplication of fractions when you double or triple a recipe. Have them bake a recipe and double it to practice their 2x tables. Or if you have a sports fan, preface the situation by saying a basketball player made 4 free throws, 5 layups, and 7 3-point shots.  See how quickly they can calculate the score…they might be surprised at how much they already use multiplication!

How Do Turtle Diary’s Multiplication Games Help?

Skill Building

Turtle Diary starts at the very beginning levels with your students and helps them to practice their times tables by number to increase their memory skills. Beginning with Multiplication Facts 1 and moving all the way up to Multiplication Facts 10, students can practice these basic facts in a fun, hands-on game format. Monster Multiplication is a fun way to see the numbers in action, and Find the Multiples looks at multiplication from a different way that will help prepare them for division.

Graphic Depictions

Who doesn’t love a fun graphic, like a spider who does math in Relate Multiplication and Division, or a hammer that smashes facts in Hammer Multiplication? Lots of fun graphics and sounds will encourage kids to come back again and again to play the game instead of thinking of it as practicing their math skills.  It’s learning in disguise.


Who doesn’t love the pressure of a good car race? Turtle Diary offers Multiplication Car Race where students play on their own to answer facts and win the race.  Even more fun is Car Race Multiplayer, where their skills are put to the test racing against peers or someone on the internet. It’s great fun to see those monster trucks and cars find their way to the finish line by some multiplication-powered fuel.

Getting your kids working with numbers is the ultimate goal, and multiplication is all around us. Find more interesting ways to do hands-on activities with your kids at home.  But for on-the-go or individual practice, Turtle Diary’s online games are the solution to multiplication strength.