What is a Multiple in Math? All Kids Need To Know


What is the definition of a multiple in math? Multiples in math are numbers that can be generated by multiplying a specific number (referred to as the “base” or “factor”) with any positive integer. In essence, multiples of a number are the products obtained by multiplying it by 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on.

On the other hand, factors or divisors of a number divide the given number evenly, leaving no remainder. For example, factors 12 encompass 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, dividing 12 without leaving a remainder. Factors and multiples are interconnected, as each factor of a number is also a multiple of that number itself.

Finding Multiples

Finding multiples involves identifying numbers that are the products of a given base number and positive integers. To find multiples, multiply the base number by various positive integers. Here are some of the methods of finding multiple: 

Methods of finding multiples

Multiplication Method:

The multiplication method is the most straightforward. Simply multiply the given number (the base number) by various positive integers to generate its multiples.

Skip Counting Method:

Skip counting involves counting by a certain number repeatedly. To find the multiples of a base number, start with the base number and keep adding it to the previous number in the sequence.

Listing Method:

List the first few multiples of a number by multiplying the base number by consecutive positive integers.

These methods can help you find the first multiples of a number. But because there are endless multiples, you can use these methods repeatedly, making the numbers bigger each time to find more and more multiples.

Practice Examples 

Here are some practice examples:

What are the multiples of 3 using the multiplication method?

3 * 1 = 3

3 * 2 = 6

3 * 3 = 9

3 * 4 = 12

Multples of 2 

2 * 1 = 2

2* 2 = 4

2 * 3 = 6

2 * 4 = 8

To find the multiples of 3 using the skip-counting method:

Start with 3.

Add 3 to get 6 (3 + 3).

Add 3 to get 9 (6+ 3).

Add 3 to get 12 (9+3).

To find multiples of 8 with the same method:

Start with 8.

Add 8 to get 16 (8 + 8).

Add 8 to get 24 (16 + 8).

Add 8 to get 32 (32+ 8).

And so on. 

Here are the multiples of 25 using skip counting:

25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, …

You can continue this pattern by adding 25 to each previous number in the sequence.

What are multiples of 3 using the listing method?

3 * 1 = 3

3 * 2 = 6

3* 3 = 9

3 * 4 = 12

3 * 5 = 15

If you want a better explanation of the listing methods,  here is how to find multiples of 20 using the listing method:

Start with the base number: 20.

Add the base number (20) to itself: 20 + 20 = 40.

Add the base number (20) to the previous result (40): 40 + 20 = 60.

Repeat this process, adding 20 to the last result each time.

Common Multiples- Definition and Examples 

Common multiples can be evenly divided by two or more given numbers with no remainder. These shared multiples arise by identifying values with the provided numbers as factors.

Let’s illustrate this with the numbers 15, 14, and 30:

Multiples of 15: 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, etc.

Multiples of 14: 14, 28, 42, 56, 70, 84, 98, etc. 

Multiples of 30: 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, etc.

From these lists, you can ascertain the common multiples of 15, 14, and 30:

The common multiples of 15 and 14 are 30, 60, 90, etc,

The common multiples of 14 and 30 are 60, 120, 180, etc.

The common multiples of 15 and 30 are 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, etc.

In this case, the numbers 60 and 180 are shared common multiples of all three numbers, as they can be divided evenly by 15, 14, and 30.

Common multiples play a vital role in mathematics, including determining the least common multiple (LCM) and solving problems involving fractions, proportions, and real-world situations.

Interactive Activity 

Teaching what is a multiple in math 4th grade may require more interaction because the numbers can get confusing for the kids. So here is an interactive activity that the kids can engage in. 

  • Imagine you’re on a treasure hunt adventure in a magical land. Your mission is to find the hidden treasure, which can only be unlocked by discovering the common multiples of three enchanted numbers: 15, 14, and 30.
  • Draw a map on your paper. Divide it into three sections, one for each enchanted number. Label them as “Number 15,” “Number 14,” and “Number 30.” Draw a small treasure chest at the end of each section.
  • Write down the first few multiples of each enchanted number in their respective sections. Use colorful markers to make it exciting! For example: 

Number 15: 15, 30, 45, 60, …

Number 14: 14, 28, 42, 56, …

Number 30: 30, 60, 90, 120, …

  • Your task is to find the “Common Multiples Treasure Chests” where the magical numbers overlap. 
  • Circle or mark the common multiples you’ve found on your map. 
  • Add up the common multiples you’ve found. 

Fun activities with multiples

Teaching kids the definition of multiplication and asking them to find a multiple of 3 will be much more fun if you include fun activities like the above interactive activity and math games. 

Math games 

Here are some fun math games that you can use to teach “What is a multiple?” to kids: 

Multiples Hopscotch

Draw a hopscotch grid with numbers and their multiples. Players hop through the grid while calling out the multiples they land on.

Multiples Tic-Tac-Toe

Create a tic-tac-toe grid and fill it with multiples of different numbers. Players must solve a multiple problem before placing their X or O on the grid.

Multiples Race

Draw a number line with multiples of a specific number. Players roll a die and move that number of spaces, identifying the multiple they land on.

Multiples Target Practice

Set up a target with different point values for multiples of a certain number. Players throw objects (like bean bags) at the target and score points based on the multiple they hit.

Multiples Relay Race

Divide players into teams. Place multiples of a number at various points along a path. Players take turns racing to the multiples and back to their team, accumulating points.

Puzzles and Riddles 

Here are some puzzles and riddles to help kids understand multiples better: 

Missing Multiple Puzzle:

Fill in the missing multiples in a sequence. For example, if the sequence is 5, __, 15, 20, __, 30, the missing multiples are 10 and 25.

Multiples Crossword Puzzle:

Create a crossword puzzle with clues that involve multiples. For instance, the clue could be “A multiple of 7 that comes after 21” (answer: 28).

Multiples Sudoku:

Create a Sudoku grid where the numbers in each row, column, and box are multiples of a specific base number.

Multiples Cryptogram:

Encode a message using multiples. Assign each letter a number value (e.g., A=1, B=2, …, Z=26) and create a message using the multiples of a chosen base number.

Multiples Maze:

Design a maze where the path is determined by moving along multiples of a certain number. Players must follow the multiples to reach the exit.

Real-life Applications of Multiples 

We use multiples every single day in our activities. You may not be aware of it, but some of your day-to-day businesses require a basic understanding of multiples, and teaching kids this gives them a chance to learn the math concept better. 

Everyday Examples

Here are some everyday real-life applications of multiples:

Grocery Shopping

When buying items at the grocery store, you might buy multiples of products, such as 4 cans of soup or 2 liters of milk.

Baking and Cooking

Recipes often involve using multiples of ingredients, like measuring 2 cups of flour or 3 teaspoons of sugar.

Counting Money

When counting money, you’re dealing with multiples of coins and bills, such as counting out 5 dollars (a multiple of $1 bills) or 25 cents (a multiple of 5-cent coins).

Telling Time

The concept of multiples is inherent in telling time. For example, each hour has 60 minutes (a multiple of 60), and each minute has 60 seconds.


A calendar is organized around multiples of days, weeks, and months. A week consists of 7 days and a month consists of multiple weeks.

Recurring Events

Consider regular events, like a weekly garbage collection or a monthly bill payment. These events occur in multiples of days or weeks.


Multiples are helpful in our everyday life, so teaching kids multiples is very important. You want to be able to prepare your kid for a math-based world, by using all the resources at your disposal to keep them on their feet. 

Brighterly teaches kids multiples using fun interactive games and videos to increase their concentration and understanding of the concept. If you want your kids to improve in their math skills, register now at brighterly.com. 

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