**Multiplication is one of the four basic operations we use every day, so it is an important skill for children to develop. **

Not only is **multiplication a necessity in everyday life**, it provides the foundation for future concepts in mathematics including division, fractions, algebra and even calculus. Multiplication also helps children develop logical thinking skills and attention to detail.

The concept of multiplication is difficult for many students to grasp and can become a source of frustration as they try to master the concept. Developing fluency and the ability to instantly recall multiplication facts can be a real confidence booster for them.

**One way to make multiplication practice more enjoyable is to use games. **Here are some multiplication games that children can play.

When **playing games with cards**, you can create your own number cards, or you can use a standard deck of cards if you prefer. The numbers you use should be based on the players’ level. For example, some children may need to practice multiplication by 1-digit numbers, while others may need to multiply by multiples of 10. **The multiplication games can be tweaked to accommodate different grade levels.**

__1. Guess My Numbers!__

*Guess My Numbers!* **can be played with** **children at different grade levels.** For example, this multiplication game can be played with children who are learning multiplication facts or middle school students who are learning to multiply signed numbers. **Just use numbers that are appropriate for the different levels**.

**Number of players:** 2

**Materials**:

Number cards

Paper and pencil for each player

**Rules**:

Shuffle all the cards. Players sit back-to-back. Decide which player goes first.

The first player picks 2 cards from the pile without showing them to the opponent. The first player says the product of the numbers aloud.

The opponent guesses the two numbers the first player has picked. The opponent continues to guess until they are correct. The first player gets a point for each incorrect guess.

Replace the cards in the pile and shuffle them. The next player takes a turn.

The first player to reach a predetermined number of points, such as 20 points, wins the game.

__2. Multiplication Capture__

The numbers on the number cards for *Multiplication Capture* **may vary based on the multiplication facts children are expected to know.** This multiplication game **uses whole numbers only. **

**Number of players**: 2 or more

**Materials**:

Grid paper (gameboard)

Number cards

Colored pencils or crayons (one color for each player)

**Rules**:

Shuffle the cards. Each player picks a card to determine the order of play. The player with the greatest number goes first, the player with the next greatest number goes second, and so on.

The first player picks two cards from the deck, shows them to the other players, and says the product of the two numbers.

If the other players agree with the product, the first player “captures” an area on the gameboard equal to that product. The player does this by coloring a rectangular array of squares and writing the product on the squares.

For example, if the player picked 4 and 6, the player colors a 4-by-6 rectangle and writes 24 on the rectangle. This is the player’s score for that round.Return the cards to the deck and shuffle. The next player takes a turn.

If the player was not correct, the second player gets to “steal” by giving the correct product and capturing the area. Then the second player gets another turn.

If a player cannot find any room to color the array, that player is out of the game.

When there is only one player left, the scores are added and the player with the most points wins.

__3. Multiplication Bingo__

*Multiplication Bingo *can be played using different types of numbers. For example, the game can be played with whole numbers, integers, decimal numbers or fractions.

The numbered cards are factors and the numbers on the bingo cards are products. Bingo cards can be created on a 6 row-by-5 column table with BINGO in the first row and a number in each cell. The middle cell is always a free space*.*

**Number of players**: 2 or more

**Materials**:

Bingo cards

Numbered cards

Bingo markers (counters, pennies, counting cubes, etc. can be used instead)

**Rules**:

Shuffle the number cards. The “caller” picks two cards and calls out the two numbers.

Each player marks the product of the two numbers on their card, if possible.

The number cards are returned to the deck and shuffled.

Repeat the process until a player wins. A player wins by filling a row, column or diagonal.

__4. Concentration__

The playing cards for *Concentration* contain multiplication expressions. They can be created by writing multiplication expressions on index cards. Simply create pairs of cards with different expressions that have the same product. For example, one card has 4 × 5 and another card has 2 × 10; one card has 6 × 4 and another card has 8 × 3, and so on.

**Number of players**: 2 or more

**Materials**:

Playing cards

**Rules**:

Shuffle the cards and spread them facedown on the table.

The first player picks two cards. If the cards have the same product, the player says the product out loud and keeps the cards.

If the player does not get cards with a matching product, or does not say the correct product, the player returns the cards facedown on the table. Then the next player takes a turn.

Continue until all the cards are matched. The player with the most cards wins the game.

You can check out an online resource such as Netmath to find other enjoyable learning opportunities and online multiplication games for children!