Simple, Active Way to Memorize Multiplication Facts

09 July


Most kids hate memorizing math facts, mine included.

Most kids like jumping around outside, mine included.

Combining the two can make math fun! At least more fun than flashcards.

Plus, adding the movement aspect makes math hands-on (or feet-on in this case), and we all know the benefits kids can get from hands-on learning!



Supplies Needed for Sidewalk Chalk Math

  • Sidewalk Chalk (the brighter, the better)
  • A hard, flat surface (Preferably a driveway or sidewalk; please don't use the road!)
  • Flashcards (optional)

How to Set Up an Active Outdoor Math Game

Now take your sidewalk chalk and write a number line. The larger area you have, the longer your number line can be.We wanted to practice our multiplication tables through 5, so we only went through 50.

Be sure the numbers are large enough for the kids to stand on! 


And don't be like me and write two of the same number, your kids will find it. Really, I can count. 

Two 44's; Oops!

How to Get Active with Math

Now that you have your number line, you can decide what math you need to practice. We were practicing multiplication facts, but you could definitely use the same activity for addition or even subtraction or division.

  1. Have your child stand at the beginning of the number line (or the end if you are doing subtraction or division).
  2. Now call out a math problem. This is where you can use flashcards if desired. 
  3. Once the child knows the answer, they move to the correct number.

 


Practicing Math Times Tables Outside

We specifically wanted to practice our times tables. So, we wanted to work on our multiplication facts in order.  

Basically, we followed the same method listed above, but instead of calling out random math problems with flashcards, we did all of the 1's, then all of the 2's, then all the 3's....

This was helpful for my kids as they could easily look at the numbers and count however many more they needed.

The 1's were easy to figure and easy to move to.


The 2's were still easy to figure, but a little harder to reach without touching the numbers in between. 

Lots of fun gross motor skills needed to reach numbers now like long jumping!




As the numbers increased, the difficulty increased. Once we got to the 5's they were stepping off the line and back on to the correct number. 


Now you may think they are just counting on 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 more and not learning. But even if that was all they did, they are still hearing the problem and seeing the answer. 

And you can see them thinking. 

You can watch them figuring out the problems they don't immediately know.

It will help them remember. 




And one of the best parts about this outdoor math activity? If you have more then one kid, they can use the flashcards to quiz each other! Really, even a single kid can use the flashcards, move to the number, and then check the answer. 

They practice math in a fun, hands-on way, and you don't have to spend a lot of time setting up, supervising, or cleaning!

 Want more tips for easier hands-on learning? Head over to my top tips for painless hands-on learning!


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