If Your Child Has Difficulty Memorising the Facts Then the Order in Which They Learn Them

If Your Child Has Difficulty Memorising the Facts Then the Order in Which They Learn Them

It is important for children to learn and recall as many times table facts (multiplication facts) up to 10 x 10 as possible. There are many ways of learning tables and your child may respond to different strategies such as singing, reciting, writing, playing games and making up rhymes amongst others. The most important thing is to make it fun and do a little practice as often as possible. Don’t worry if your child appears to be struggling to learn their times tables, as there are many strategies you can use to help them. Above all, this should be a supportiveand fun activity.

If your child has difficulty memorising the facts then the order in which they learn them can be important. Start with the 2, 5 and 10 tables; children can then use their fingers to help with learning the 9x table (shown later).Children can use doubling strategies to learn the 4x and 8x table once the 2x is secure. The learning really starts with the 3x table. Children will need help to memorise these.

There are many times table games available on line which will help children to recall times tables and division facts. You can also purchase times tables CDs for children to sing along to from a number of shops and supermarkets.

Parents often remember chanting their times tables at school, and this can be useful, although learning the multiplication facts strategically (in order and looking for patterns) helps children to make connections, and means they don’t have to rely on their memory alone!

However, there is more to learning your tables than just chanting them! Unfortunately 7 x 8 = 58 rolls off the tongue as easily as the correct answer - 7 x8 =56.

Learn 1 get 1 free!

Multiplication is commutative so you are allowed to switch the numbers around as you will get the same answer. For example 7 x2 gives the same result as 2 x7. Knowing this means children reduce the number of times table facts they need to learn, by half!

Four facts

Children learn the relationship between multiplication and division.

They should learn that 6 x3= 18, 3 x 6= 18, 18 3 = 6 and 18 6 =3.

Top Tips


It helps to learn the doubles. If children are able to double they don’t just learn the two times tables. They can quickly remind themselves of other facts.

For 8 x 6 – double six (2x6=12), double again (4x6=24), double again (8x6=48)


Children need to be confident when multiplying by 10 and later 100. The short cut of adding 0 does not work for multiplying decimal numbers so it is best not to teach this. Multiplying by 10 makes the number ten times bigger. Learn the rule that to multiply by 10 we move the digits one place to the left and to divide by 10 we move the digits one place to the right.


Use your fingers!

The 8x and 7x table

Confident doublers will appreciate that multiplying by 8 can be done by doubling, doubling and doubling again.

If you learn all the other times tables then the only one left is 7x7= 49

Using what you know

If children are confident with these strategies, they will become fluent with the multiplication and division facts up to 10 x 10. A bonus to this approach is that combining strategies allows them to work mentally beyond 10 x 10.

For example: appreciating that doubling and doubling again is the same as multiplying by four makes 36 x 4 a reasonable mental calculation. Reversing this - halving and halving again - gives a useful strategy for mentally figuring out 76 divided by four.

Combining doubling with multiplying by 10 makes mental multiplication by 20 possible. Figuring out 38 x 5 by halving 380(38 x 10) is more efficient than multiplying the 30 and 8 x5 separately.

Times Tables you want to learn / Top Tips
Knowledge of doubles is crucial to rememberingmultiplication facts. Being able to double doesn’t just give you the two times table - it also means you can quickly remind yourself of the 4 and 8x table.
- Double six: 2 x 6 = 12
- Double again: 4 x 6 = 24
- Double again: 8 x 6 = 48
10x / Place value
5x / Halve the 10x table
6x / Double the 3x table
9x / Use your fingers
7x / Use the times tables you know already
The only one you will need to learn is 7x 7 =49

Rhymes and patterns

Create rhymes to help children remember facts.

8x8=64 (I ate and I ate and was sick on the floor, 8x 8 is 64)

8x7=56 (56=7x8)(the numbers in this times table fact are in order 5, 6, 7, 8!)


Fizz Buzz

Count around in a group with each person taking it in turns to say the next number. Count again, but instead of saying the number the child has to say fizz instead of the multiples of 5. For example 1, 2, 3, 4 fizz, 6, 7, 8, 9 fizz. Repeat this time saying buzz for multiples of 3. A challenge is to say fizz for the multiples of 3 and buzz for the multiples of 5. This game can be adapted for other multiples. This game helps children rehearse the pattern of multiples. What do you say instead of 15?


Version 1 Children jot down 6 to 8 numbers from 1 to 36. Roll a dice twice to make a multiplication calculation. Players cross out the answer if it is one of their numbers. This game can be played with dice, playing cards, digit cards or another person saying the multiplication calculation. Which numbers are good to choose? Which numbers rarely come up?

Version 2 Choose answers from times tables and write them down. Roll two dice and multiply the two numbers. Cross off the answer if you have it. The winner is the first to cross off all their numbers.


Place dominoes face down on the table. Player one takes a domino. Multiply the two numbers together and say the answer. If they are correct they can keep the domino. Continue the game with each player doing the same. The winner is whoever has the most dominoes at the end. This game can be played with a set of dominoes, two playing cards or you could make your own set focusing on a specific times table.

Table Square

Children can be given a blank square with the numbers arranged in a random order and complete a speed test!


Use a pack of playing cards. Remove the picture cards. In pairs take turns. Take a card and roll a dice. Multiply the two numbers. Write down the total. Keep a running total. The first to go over 301wins.

Make 100

Play with a partner. Take two dice and roll them. Multiply the two numbers together and write down the answer. Take turns keeping a running total of scores. The winner is the first to score 100 or more.

Double It

Draw a 3 by 2 grid. Roll a dice and double the number. Write each doubled number in your grid until it is completed. Now roll the dice again and cross off the double until you have crossed out all the numbers in your grid.

Division Cards

Create a set of cards (cut an A4 sheet) that have a multiplication fact presented.

36 / 4

Beat the Calculator

The purpose of this game is to be quick at recalling times table facts. You will need a pack of cards (picture cards removed) or create a set of cards 1 to 10. Decide who will use the calculator first. Shuffle the cards and then select two to multiply. The person using the calculator MUST use it even if they know the answer. The other player must multiply the two numbers mentally. A point goes to whoever gets the answer first. Change over after 10 calculations.

Maths Vocabulary

Year 3 / Multiple (20 is a multiple of 5 because it is in that times table)
Product (The product of 5 and 3 is 15)
Year 4 / Factor (a whole number that divides exactly in to another number 5 is a factor of 20)
Quotient (the answer to a division)
Divisible by
Property (fact about a number)
Year 5/6 / Factorise (to write a number as a product of its factors)
Prime Number
Prime Factor

Suitable websites include which has a selection of games that can support children in practising their times tables also check out the games on

St Michaels CofE Junior School