Tricks for Learning Multiplication Tables Memorization Techniques

Multiplication is one of the most challenging aspects of basic mathematics. Yet, the skill is vital in real life as memorizing times tables makes problem-solving faster. Therefore, if you are a student learning multiplication tables or a teacher looking for tips on how to teach multiplication tables, this article will outline the most straightforward approaches.


Before we start

Kids often try to use memorization while learning math. Memorization is a valid method of learning, although it is often not the best. For example, forgetting a single step in problem solving can lead to confusion and getting stuck. A conceptual understanding of WHY before WHAT is the best way to learn math.

If you want your child to solve math problems thoughtfully, visit our Brighterly math courses page to evaluate your kid’s math understanding level.


Multiplication and Multiplication Tables – Explanation

Like several other topics in math, multiplication is a task that most children find challenging, which is sometimes caused by the teachers’ failure to teach multiplication tables correctly. Luckily, there are a few tips on how to teach times tables.

The best way is to follow a stepwise process. Let children know why they need to learn times tables and memorize them. Then, you can relate multiplication to addition, especially if kids already understand the concept of subtraction. When students finally understand how multiplication works, give them memory tasks so they can memorize multiplication tables.

How to Learn Multiplication Tables?

The best way to learn times tables is to understand the concept of multiple additions first; this means that your child needs to master addition and subtraction before fully understanding multiplication. Your students can appreciate multiplication when you explain the workings in familiar terms. For example, break a 2 x 3 multiplication problem down by saying, “2 × 3 refers to two groups of three, which will give you 6.”

But a quicker approach would be to use games, math manipulatives, and exercises. When your teaching strategy and execution are exciting, students will learn faster. Memorizing multiplication tables can be tedious, so you can get your kids actively involved by using games to learn multiplication tables.

How to Memorize Times Tables?

Memorizing times tables is easy when you have a strategy. If you need an effective approach, take the following steps:

Step One: Write a Multiplication Table

Tell your child to copy the multiplication table from a large poster using colored pencils of their choice. Such exercise is cost-effective as you don’t have to print multiple posters for each child. The goal is to make kids more interested in the topic and actively involved in the exercise. Using colored pencils instead of ordinary ones or a pen will make the activity more exciting.

Step Two: Recite the Multiplication Table Forward and Backward

After copying the multiplication table into the drawing books or a smaller poster, ask kids to recite the table forward and backward slowly. Start at the bottom of each column to recite it backward. For example, start with the 2’s and slowly say, “2 times 10 is 20, 2 times 9 is 18, 2 times 8 is 16, etc.” Do this repeatedly until your students can recite the table backward without looking at it.

Step Three: Learn from Easy to Hard

An excellent trick to quickly memorize multiplication tables is to start learning from the easiest tables and then advance to more challenging ones. Start with 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 before moving to 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12 as the first set of numbers follows a noticeable pattern that is easy to remember.

Table 10 is the easiest in the multiplication table; just add zero next to the number you are multiplying by 10, while the products in table 5 have 5 and 0 as their end digits. Once kids have learned simpler numbers and practiced them, you can introduce more complex ones.

Step Four: Practice Skip Counting

An easy way to learn multiplication tables is to practice using skip counting. Skip counting is counting at intervals of any number you like, except number one. The best way to teach children to skip count is using a song. Children will easily learn the lyrics of songs because music is a mnemonic device. If you put the numbers into a tune, they can easily commit them to memory and retain longer.

Tell your child to skip count aloud while pointing to the numbers with a finger or a pen. For example, if you skip count by 2s, teach kids to say “2, 4, 6, 8, 10”, and so on while pointing at the numbers. After doing this exercise aloud with the kids, ask them to recite the numbers without looking at the notes.

Step Five: Practice Addition Method

Kids can learn multiplication tables fast when they use the addition method. For example, if you want to multiply 5 × 5, you can add 5 five times to get the correct answer, 5+5+5+5+5 = 25, which is the same as 5×5 = 25.

To move to the next stage in learning the multiplication table, children can add the number to the result of the previous multiplication. For example, to get 5 × 6, add five to the last product, 25, and you will have 30. This method will help children get familiar with the following sequences in the multiplication table.

Step Six: Play Math Card War

You can introduce the Math Card War game since kids learn faster with fun methods. Math Card War is a game of regular cards without the jokers. Give each student an equal number of cards.

Every player draws two cards from the top of their deck and multiplies the number on their first card by the number on their second one. The player with the highest product wins the round and keeps all the cards from the other players. At the end of the game, the player with the most cards in the deck wins the game.

Step Seven: Use Math Worksheets

Math worksheets offer visual simulations of multiplication to kids. They contain exciting activities like games and puzzles that help understand multiplication better. With these worksheets, your child can see everything you teach them.

You can improve your child’s multiplication skills without breaking the bank. Brighterly provides free multiplication worksheets, and its expert tutors use the customized printable math worksheets in the teaching process. Parents and teachers can track a child’s progress. Parents can also use math worksheets to assist their children in spare time and add a bit of fun to the learning process.

Step Eight: Use Toys

You can use toys or math manipulatives like building blocks, coins, and other materials like pencils and erasers to teach children multiplication in a fun way. Tell them to bring their toys or coins to school, which will make them eager to learn the topic. Ask them to pair the toys or coins and count how many they have altogether. For example, if you teach the kids table 2, give them four pairs of objects to get 8, which is 2 × 4 = 8. They will understand that four sets of 2 will amount to 8.

Step Nine: Hire A Tutor

To become a better mathematician, your child may need a little extra help from an expert tutor. Getting a trained and trusted tutor can be a hassle sometimes. Luckily, Brighterly is an online platform that employs experienced math tutors.

Brighterly’s tutors present the multiplication table in a way that is easy for kids to understand and memorize. The teachers are proficient in math and use innovative ways with fun games and activities to teach your kids. They create a conducive environment for children to learn at their pace and unleash their potential.

How to Learn Multiplication Tables Fast?

An easy way to learn times tables is by using shortcuts. Below are three tricks to learn multiplication tables fast:

How to Learn Times Tables with the Landmark Numbers Trick?

An easy way to learn multiplication tables is to start with the landmark number. The landmark numbers are numbers with obvious patterns. The examples of these numbers are 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10.

  • Multiplication by 0 is called the zero product property. Any number multiplied by zero gives zero as the product. For example, 0 × 2 = 0.
  • Multiplication by the number 1 gives the same number. For example, 1 × 2 = 2. This is called identity property.
  • Multiplication by the number 2 gives double the number. It is the same as adding the number to itself. For example, 2 × 3 = 6 and 3 + 3 = 6.
  • When you multiply 5 by any number, the product ends with 0 or 5, as in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 45, 50. After every set, the difference between the numbers is always 5, which means you add five to the current value to get the next number. For example, 5 × 2 = 10. To get 5 × 3, you add 5 to 10 which gives you 15; therefore, 5 × 3 = 15.
  • The easiest table is multiplication by the number 10. Whenever you multiply a number by 10, the result is the same number with a zero behind it. For example, 10 × 2 = 20, 10 × 3 = 30.

How to Learn Times Table Using the 9s Trick?

Multiplication by the number 9 also follows an easy pattern. As you get to the 9s when memorizing the multiplication table, note that the first digit in the products increases by 1, while  the second digit of the product is always one number less than its predecessor.

For example:

9 × 1 = 09

9 × 2 = 18

9 × 3 = 27

9 × 4 = 36

9 x 5 = 45, etc.

Notice that the first digits increase in the sequence 09, 18, 27, 36, 45, while the last ones decrease as in 09, 18, 27, 36, 45.

Finger Counting

Your child can also use their fingers to learn multiplication table 9. Teach them to hold their fingers out and count from left to right to get the answer.

For example, to multiply 3 × 9, they should count three fingers on their left hand and bend the third finger. Then, tally the fingers before the bent one to see that 2 is the first digit of your answer. Next, they can count the rest of their fingers after the bent one, including all five fingers on the other hand. They will get 7, which is the second digit of the answer. Upon combining the numbers 2 and 7, they will get the answer, 27.

Mistakes in Teaching Multiplication Tables

Most teachers make mistakes when teaching their students the rules of multiplication, which affects the kids’ overall performance in the topic. Here are some of such mistakes.

Teaching in the Wrong Order

It might seem right to teach multiplication tables in the numerical order starting with 1, but it isn’t. Your students will learn more efficiently if you start with easier numbers first. Such approach will also boost the kids’ confidence as they go further. The proper order to teach students the multiplication table is:

  • 2
  • 10
  • 5
  • 1 and 0
  • 4
  • 3
  • 9
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Not Teaching the Commutative Theory

Multiplication has the commutative property, whereby the order of factors doesn’t change the product. That means you can multiply two numbers in any order and get the same result. For example, 2 x 4 will give you the same answer as 4 x 2. Teaching students the commutative property hastens learning the multiplication table.


Learning time tables is daunting for children as it is an advanced form of addition and subtraction. But with an innovative tutor, memorizing the multiplication rules and tables can be fun. Your child can quickly memorize multiplication tables using the tricks and steps listed in the article. And since children learn more effectively with games and fun activities, consider integrating multiplication games like Math Card War into your teaching method.

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