# 16 Math Magic Tricks for Kids to Calculate Numbers in a Split Second

Created on Feb 22, 2022

Updated on January 4, 2024

Over 50% of Americans have math anxiety that often originates from insufficient school practice and a lack of math understanding. In fact, math is much simpler than you think. What if we say that you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide any number by solving simple 5 + 5 or 7 + 2?

Check 16 easy math tricks for kids to teach calculating in a split second.

## Math Tricks for Kids: Addition

Kids learn addition as early as kindergarten, and they will solve thousands of addition equations in five upcoming years, so they will need a few easy math tricks to add numbers in a split second:

### #1 Break Numbers by Place Value

You can break down numbers to more convenient pairs. For example, let’s solve 26 + 38:

- 26 = 20 + 6.
- 38 = 30 + 8.
- Add tens first: 30 + 20 = 50.
- Add ones: 6 + 8 = 14.
- Add these answers: 50 + 14 = 64.

### #2 Focus on 10

Some kids struggle to add numbers past 10, like 9 + 8 or 5 + 7. You can help your kid with the following math trick: round the first number to 10 by borrowing the necessary amount from the second number. Let’s practice this trick with 9 + 8:

- 9 is close to 10: borrow 1 from 8 to get 10 + 7.
- 10 + 7 = 17.

Let’s solve 5 + 7 this way:

- Borrow 5 from 7 to get 10 + 2.
- 10 + 2 = 12.

You can also apply this strategy to add a one-digit number to a two-digit number. Let’s solve 68 + 9:

- Break down 68 to 60 and 8.
- Solve 8 + 9 first. Since 9 is closer to 10, borrow 1 from 8 to get 10 + 7.
- 7 + 10 = 17.
- 60 + 17 = 77.

### #3 Break Large Numbers

It’s easy to add 50 to 40 or 15 to 25. But what about 649 + 221? At this point, adults grab their phones and open calculators. On the other hand, teachers expect fifth-graders to solve such math in their minds. Let’s make it a bit easier:

- Let’s break down these numbers into hundreds, tens, and ones. 649 becomes 600, 40, and 9; 221 becomes 200, 20, and 1.
- Add hundreds in the first place: 600 + 200 = 800.
- Add tens: 40 + 20 = 60.
- Add ones: 9 + 1 = 10.
- Combine them: 800 + 60 + 10 = 870.

### #4 Compensate Numbers

The compensation trick resembles addition trick #2 on our list. In essence, you borrow from the second addend to round the first one. For example, 249 + 18. Just round 249 to 250 and subtract 1 from 18 to get the following equation: 250 + 17 = 267. As you see, it’s much easier than the original 249 + 18.

You can simplify any addition equation this way:

- 27 + 48 = 30 + 45 = 75.
- 1,235 + 59 = 1,240 + 54 = 1,294.
- 598 + 432 = 600 + 430 = 1030.

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## Easy Subtraction Mathematics Tricks for Children

According to Science Direct, students struggle more with subtraction than addition. But these cool math tricks for kids will help them simplify this operation:

### #1 Subtract Three-Digit Number from 1,000 in Seconds

You can subtract any number from 1,000 in your head by taking away two of its digits from 9 and the third digit from 10. Let’s imagine you need to subtract 537 from 1,000:

- 9 – 5 = 4.
- 9 – 3 = 6.
- 10 – 7 = 3.
- You will get 463 as a result.

### #2 Subtract Numbers by Place Values

Subtraction and addition are inverse math operations, which means you can apply some addition tricks to subtraction. Students can break down large numbers for subtraction as well. Let’s take 258 – 172 into account:

- Subtract hundreds first: 200 – 100 = 100.
- Subtract tens: 50 – 70 = – 20.
- 100 – 20 = 80.
- Subtract ones: 8 – 2 = 6.
- Combine the results: 80 + 6 = 86.

### #3 Subtract Convenient Numbers Using Equal Addition

Math operations are all about juggling numbers to get more convenient pairs. You can add equal numbers to subtrahends and minuends to simplify the equation. Let’s solve 98 – 32:

- Let’s add 2 to both numbers: 98 + 2 = 100; 32 + 2 = 34.
- Subtract: 100 – 34 = 66.

You can add as much value to numbers as you consider appropriate. Let’s take another example: 36 – 16. In this case, adding 4 to both numbers makes the most sense. As a result, you will get 40 – 20 = 20.

### #4 Use Subtraction Facts

Your kids solve countless math drills at school, memorizing answers to the most popular equations. For instance, 14 – 6 = 8. Now consider that this 14 might be a part of a larger number, let it be 94 or 144.

Knowing that 14 – 6 always results in 8, you can solve seemingly perplexing equations like 154 – 6. Imagine 14 is part of 154. The difference ends in 8, so you can estimate that it will be 148.

Let’s conclude that subtracting a number that ends in 6 from a number that ends in 4 will result in 8: 8,684 – 2396 = 6,288; 344 -166 = 178; 994 – 576 = 418, and so on. Your student can use this fact to check whether they do correct calculations.

## Magic Maths Tricks for Kids to Multiply in Seconds

Students solve multiplication problems every day. Why not make this operation easier using simple math tricks for kids below?

### #1 The Rule of Nines

Students have to learn the multiplication table by heart, but it usually takes a lot of time and drills. The good news is that kids can go an easy way with multiplying single numbers by 9. You will find an interesting pattern when you take a closer look at the multiplication table:

- 1 x 9 = 9
- 2 x 9 = 18
- 3 x 9 = 27
- 4 x 9 = 36
- 5 x 9 = 45
- 6 x 9 = 54
- 7 x 9 = 63
- 8 x 9 = 72
- 9 x 9 = 81
- 9 x 10 = 90

The left digits in the answer increase, while the right digits decrease as we progress through the multiplication table. If you multiply 2 by 9, you know that the first digit of the answer is 1, and the second is 8. The same goes for 3 x 9. The first digit of the answer is 2, while the second one is 7. Apply this pattern to numbers up to 10.

### #2 Multiply Two-Digit Numbers in Seconds

What if we say that multiplying multi-digit numbers is as easy as the multiplication table?

Let’s multiply 27 by 45:

- Multiply ones: 7 x 5 = 35.
- Cross multiply digits, add them, and carry whenever a product exceeds 9: 2 x 5 + 7 x 4 = 10 + 28 = 38. Here, we carry 3 and leave 8 as a tens-digit product: 80.
- Multiply tens and add the carried 3: 2 x 4 + 3 = 8 + 3 = 11. It’s the hundreds-digit answer (eleven hundred or 1,100.
- Add the answers: 1,100 + 80 + 35 = 1,215.

It’s even easier to multiply large numbers if the second step doesn’t exceed 9.

For instance: 13 x 22.

- Multiply ones: 3 x 2 = 6 (the ones’ product).
- Cross multiply and add: 1 x 2 + 3 x 2 = 2 + 6 = 8 (the tens’ product or 80).
- Multiply tens: 1 x 2 = 2 (the hundreds’ product or 200).
- Just combine digits: 286.

### #3 Add Numbers to Simple Multiplication Products

Multiplying one-digit numbers by 9 is easy, but what if you forget how much 6 x 8 is. If you remember how much 6 x 6 is, you can just add two 6: 6 x 6 = 36; 36 + 6 + 6 = 48.

### #4 Help Your Kid Multiply 2, 5, 10, and 11

Multiplication hides a couple of maths trick questions for kids:

- What will you get if you multiply any number by 2? If you multiply something by 2, you will always get an even number. For instance, 12 x 2 = 24; 57 x 2 = 114; 1,657 x 2 = 3,314.
- What two results will you get if you multiply numbers by 5? If you multiply something by 5, you will get either 5 or 0 at the end of the number. Take a look: 23 x 5 = 115; 67 x 5 = 335; 79 x 5 = 395; 324 x 5 = 1,620; 666 x 5 = 3,330.
- When multiplying a number by 10, just add a zero to its end: 10 x 10 = 100; 56 x 10 = 560; 9,887 x 10 = 98,870.
- How can you multiply numbers by 11 without calculating anything? If you want to multiply numbers up to 10 by 11, write them down twice: 9 x 11 = 99; 2 x 11 = 22; 5 x 11 = 55 and so on.

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## Division Maths Tricks for Your Child

The division is the trickiest math operation that confuses everyone without exception. Still, mathematicians came up with some tips to simplify this operation.

### #1 Simplify Numbers for More Convenient Division

You can simplify the dividend and divisor. Let’s take a look at the equation 128 ÷ 34. You can divide it by 2: 64 ÷ 17. It’s more manageable than the original.

### #2 Divide by 5 in a Split Second

Let’s get into tricky maths questions for kids: can they multiply a number to divide it? In short, they can.

If you need to divide a number by 5, let’s say 155 ÷ 5, you can follow these steps:

- Multiply 155 by 2: 155 x 2 = 310.
- Divide 310 by 10: 310 ÷ 10 = 31.
- 31 is the answer: 155 ÷ 5 = 31.

You can also divide numbers by 50 this way. But you have to divide the first quotient by 100 instead of 10. Let’s solve 2,345 ÷ 50:

- 2,345 x 2 = 4,690.
- 4,690 ÷ 100 = 46.9.
- 46.9 is the answer.

### #3 Split the Dividend

If you face an equation containing a complex dividend, you can split it into simpler parts. Let’s take 78 ÷ 6 into account:

- Simplify 78 by splitting it into parts divisible by 6: 78 = 60 + 18.
- Divide these parts by 6: 60 ÷ 6 = 10; 18 ÷ 6 = 3.
- Add these results: 10 + 3 = 13. It is the answer to 78 ÷ 6.

### #4 Estimate the Quotient

Sometimes, you don’t need extreme precision when dividing numbers. After all, many division equations result in decimal numbers.

If you can round the dividend and the divisor, do it. For instance, round 98 ÷ 54 to 100 ÷ 50. The estimated quotient for this equation is 2, while the real one is 1.81. Not a big difference.

## A Bonus Mind Reading Math Card Trick to Amaze Your Child

Follow these steps to perform one of the simplest math card tricks for kids:

- Get a deck of playing cards.
- Count 25 cards on top of the pile. Slightly turn them to know where they end.
- Draw these cards and put them face down on the table before you kid.
- Ask your child to draw a card from the pile in your hand.
- Ask your kid to place this card back on top of the hand.
- Pick 25 cards from the table and put them back in your hand.
- Start counting the cards up to 26.
- It will be your child’s card.

## Wrapping Up Our Maths Tricks for Kids

Now you realize that you can reduce any math operation to small numbers up to the point when you instantly see the answer. Essentially, all available magic math tricks for kids break equations into several steps involving manageable numbers.

While these tricks aim to streamline math, they teach invaluable knowledge – if you consider a challenge impossible to overcome, break it into smaller parts, and you will succeed. Teach this knowledge to your child to prepare them for adulthood.