Times Tables Games for Kids: Making Math Fun – why would I be writing a post of this nature? Simple, my daughter Brianna Fasano, who co-authored the Purpee the Purple Dragon kids books with me, struggled mightily with her times tables – until yesterday.
Brianna is very creative, but when it came to her times tables, like many kids, she couldn’t remember them and then would get frustrated, and give up. I wanted to help her change that, and as of yesterday, she got a 50 question multiplication quiz back with 100% on it. Here’s what we did.
Times Tables Games for Kids Only Work if You Select the Right Game
I wanted to turn the idea of times tables into to a game for Brianna, so I took a blank piece of paper and wrote the numbers 1 through 12 at the top and also down the left side of the paper. I then drew a gird (see photo below).
Next, I asked Brianna if she wanted to play a game. I explained the grid to her and said, if she could fill it out for 10 days in a row, then I would give her a special treat. The first few days, she struggled, and I helped her a bit. Then she was able to start to do it on her own. Then after she was able to complete it, I started timing her each day. I emphasized that there was no pressure, I just wanted to see how long it took her, and this motivated her even more. She actually never asked for the prize, which is really interesting and tells me she really enjoyed the game.
This exact game or method might not be best for your child, but there are others out there you can try.
Times Tables Games for Kids Should Build Good Habits
While Brianna did well with this ‘game,’ I knew it was pointless unless the times tables would stick in her head beyond the game. Therefore, I made sure that she did it multiple days in a row for about 10 days. We missed one here and there, but kept coming back to it.
I have found through experience that building new habits takes repetition. Doing something once, twice, or even three times, isn’t enough to make it stick. If you decide to try this with your child, it is imperative that he or she do it consistently for a few weeks.
Celebrate the Results
If you are taking a gaming approach, you should certainly celebrate the results with your child. Even if you are not taking that approach, I believe that when your children come home with good results in school, you should celebrate them and show appreciation for their hard work.
It was just a few days ago that Brianna brought home the quiz with 100% on it that you see at the top of this post. In addition to helping her with her multiplication tables, this process also helped her to answer questions quicker, which will certainly be valuable to her moving forward.
What times tables games for kids or other methods have you used successfully with your children?
Anthony Fasano, Proud Father of Three
Co-Author of Purpee the Purple Dragon and Friends
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