If you want an effortless way to teach math, multiplication games may be your answer. Whether you use board games or one of the many electronic games, your student will learn and have fun doing it.
Games Make Learning Fun
Teaching multiplication can be frustrating. A child learns best by using as many senses as possible. By using a variety of learning games children memorize the multiplication tables effortlessly over time. They are interested in practicing what they are learning by using the game format. Since they are having fun they will concentrate longer and retain more. Math games are a win-win teaching concept.
Many children learn especially well if there is a lot of movement and hands-on activity associated with the game. For this reason, it is a good idea to focus more on board games than computer programs in the early elementary years.
There are three types of math multiplication games:
- Computer or electronic
- Board games
- Homemade games
Electronic Multiplication Games
Electronic multiplication games are often hand-held and can be taken on trips to help pass the time. Some can be used as either one player or multi-player games.
Flashmaster is an electronic flash card system. This system replaces addition, subtraction, multiplication and division flash cards and requires only about ten minutes a day. While this is the least game-like of any of the math games, it is electronic and makes children feel as if they were playing a game rather than memorizing flash cards.
Digitz is an electronic learning game that allows students to choose between five different options. As they play the games, they are reinforcing multiplication skills from skip counting to finding factor pairs. Digitz has light and sound effects which build the excitement and make this an entertaining game.
Free Online Games
Another way to play math games is to use the numerous websites that provide free online games. Some of them are:
Multiplication.com - This site has several different online, arcade-style multiplication games.
Gamequarium - No matter what your child's interest he can find a fun arcade style game on this site.
Play Kids Games - Find multiplication games as well as other educational games in an arcade format.
Academic Skill Builders - This site has multiplication games for multiple players.
Cool Math 4 Kids - If you want to pick and choose from many types of games, this site may be just what you are looking for.
Mythmatical Battles - An online role playing game where you must solve equations to win battles.
Math Board Games
Math board games are not as easy to play while traveling and some children who play a lot of electronics find that the board games don't move fast enough to keep their attention. However, board games are a great way to learn in a fun environment.
The student must solve the math problem to move around the board. He throws the dice to get two numbers and then draws an operations card to find out which mathematical operation he will use to find the answer.
Players move around the board, capturing each other's markers. This is a fast paced multiplication game for two to four players.
In Totally Tut, the players race across the desert to be the first to get to the pyramid. To find out how many spaces they can move they must use a variety of mathematical operations.
This is played like your favorite game show. Students must race to answer a question correctly. This game is for two to four players ages seven and up.
You can find more math board games and reviews at Board Game Geek.
Homemade Math Multiplication Games
Homemade multiplication games are easy and fun. Best of all, they work just as well as the expensive, commercial games. Here are some ideas for creating your own game at home.
Bingo - You can make your own Bingo cards and use flash cards as the numbers. Hold the flash card up and let the child find the answer on the Bingo card.
War - If you remember playing War as a kid with playing cards, you know how to play this game. Use flash cards in place of the playing cards. Students will need to solve the equation to see which card wins.
You can turn any game into multiplication practice by either replacing the dice with flash cards or having your child multiply the numbers on each die for the answer.
Egg Carton Multiplication Game - A homemade multiplication game.
Using math games to perfect skills is a great way to take a break from memorization or even teach math if you tend to like the unschooling method.