Engage your students with these fun and different multiplication games! These educational activities help your students learn important math concepts they’ll use for the rest of their lives.
If your students are struggling with multiplication, it’s time to try something new! An interactive game like the ones below will help your students learn how to multiply numbers in a way that’s best for them.
1. How to multiply with clay
Clay is an excellent tool for teaching math because it can be manipulated in so many different ways with some creativity, imagination, and hands-on learning. Clay can be used to demonstrate addition, subtraction, division, and even how to multiply numbers.
Start by giving each student a lump of clay. It may be helpful to offer a few minutes of free play with the clay so their excitement can release, potentially increasing engagement in the lesson. During this time, you can have your students prep for the activity. If you want them to visualize multiplying two by four, have them create eight unicorns, eight aliens, eight pizzas – anything!
Then, you can either have your students create an array of their objects by placing them in two rows of four or create two blocks of four by drawing circles around the groups. Either way, students will be able to visualize the formulas they’re learning, and they can continue reshaping their clay for each new set of numbers.
For advanced or practiced learners, have them try altering their arrays or groups by switching from two rows/groups of four to four rows/groups of two.
2. Multiplication Mash
In this game show-style lesson, have student contestants step up to the desk to take their chance at winning a prize. Allow students options for extra support, like in a real game show. These can look like:
- An extra minute to work out the problem
- A second chance to answer
- A tutorial of a similar question done by the teacher
- Phone a friend to help walk through the problem
Questions for this game can be as simple as multiplying two numbers or more complex with word problems or visuals. And, if your students enjoy the game, you can recycle it with new questions!
Turning lessons into games can increase engagement by breaking up the day in a unique way and creating a memorable learning experience. Even a game based on drilling math facts can be an exciting change of pace! To up the ante, offer students who answer correctly a prize such as a sticker or a printable activity.
Bonus: this game works great for lessons in how to multiply big numbers!
3. How to multiply numbers in a story
Once your students have been introduced to multiplication and word problems, challenge your students to create their own!
Engage students not interested in or discouraged by math with a creative element like this. Drawing connections between math and other subjects can make students with strengths in other areas feel more included, and it can show them an easy way to multiply without getting lost in the numbers.
Rather than creating just a single paragraph problem, have them write an entire story featuring at least four multiplication elements. Stories don’t need to explicitly ask questions such as, “what is three multiplied by six?” Instead, encourage students to use their creativity in incorporating these facts.
One sunny day, Ray the Rainbow decided to visit the farmer’s market. As he walked through the market, he counted each stall he passed. He found that they were arranged in three rows with four stalls in each row. All twelve stalls were full of fresh fruits and vegetables, making Ray hungry.
4. Online games to practice math skills
What are your students' favorite ways to unwind after a long day at school? A fair amount will likely say play games online. So, why not bring that passion to the classroom for an engaging and fun activity for everyone?
There are a number of ways to use online multiplication games in the classroom – they can act as rewards, mind breaks, bell ringers, small group activities, and more! And there are a ton of educational, but fun, math game sites you can introduce to your students to teach how to multiply.
One site that offers rewards, student feedback, and even progress monitoring is eSpark. Here you’ll find differentiated “Quests” full of games, songs, instructional videos, stories, and more. eSpark also gives students High Fives as they progress through their Quests, which you can celebrate in class. You can even assign specific lessons for your students to complete!
Want to learn more about using eSpark for math? Click below to sign up for free.