Multiplication Activities

Hands-on activities are very important in teaching math concepts. Research have shown that students presented with an opportunity to use manipulatives are more interested in mathematics. Today, I am sharing some fun hands-on ways to teach multiplication. Hope you can use and implement some of these ideas in your classroom.

Multiplication as Equal Groups

Multiplication as Equal Group Activity Box

I bought these pipe cleaners from a Dollar Store. It is super easy to make the hoops with pipe cleaners. Just make a circle and twist at the ends. Ta-da your hoops are ready! For counters, I have used decorative stones which I bought from Michaels (during summer clearance 😊).  You may as well use Buttons, Pom-Poms, M&Ms, Paper Clips, Lego blocks etc.

Multiplication as Equal Groups/Repeated Addition

As an example in above picture, this activity will help students visualize that there are '2 equal groups of 6' or '6 is repeated twice'. Tell them to say 2 times 6. By doing this activity they will learn the concept of 'Multiplication as Equal Groups' and 'Multiplication as Repeated Addition'.

Another activity that you can try for multiplication as repeated addition is by using multicolored counters.

Multiplication Representation

Give them a recording sheet and counters, so that they can practice the concept. Lots of practice will help them to solidify the concept.

Multiplication Arrays

LEGO bricks makes an excellent manipulative when teaching Arrays. These are all time favorite for kids and they enjoy doing it.

Multiplication Array using LEGOs

Give them Multiplication Cards or Multiplication Array worksheet (included in my Multiplication Facts packet HERE) and Lego pieces. They will make Arrays using Lego blocks. This activity will give them a visual representation of arrays. 

Alternatively, you can build Arrays using Connect 4 game.

Multiplication Arrays using Connect 4

Have students grab a multiplication card, and make an array using the connect 4 coins. This will assist them in understanding what arrays are. An Array is a set of objects arranged in rows and columns.
Just a reminder that the largest array you can build using a typical connect 4 game is 6 X 7, so this will be primarily helpful when introducing Arrays with initial multiplication facts.

If you want to practice more on Arrays, you can use my multiplication task cards (included in my Multiplication Arrays Task Cards HERE).

Equal Group Beads

Multiplication Group Beads

I used the Beaded Christmas Garland for making this activity. All I did was to cut the beads for each number. I used Green for odd numbers and Red for even numbers.
You can use these beads in your math center and give students to visualize and solve the multiplication facts. This helps to reinforce the concept that multiplication is adding equal groups together.

Visualizing Multiplication problems using beads

All the above activities not only assists students in comprehending the multiplication strategies, but also provides a visual image as they begin to use and memorize the Multiplication Facts.


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