(note: as with all good ideas out there, I'm probably not the first to come up with something like this. That said, I hadn't seen this anywhere else as of yet, so I'm sharing this idea knowing that some of you also have little learners struggling with learning their factors and products.)
Dice Multiplication/Addition Game
I came up with this game to help Kiddo review basic multiplication of factors 1-6. This is for kids who need some reinforcement of those skills with low stakes-- in short, keep it easy, keep it fun, keep it within their grasp.
1 large piece of paper
2 dice (1-6; I am hoping to purchase some Dungeons and Dragons multi-sided dice to 10 and 12 as we progress)
Small objects to serve as ‘tokens’, one for each player
Take the piece of paper and make a ‘path’ which will consist of a start, an end, and 100 spaces in between.. Number each space in numerical order. Make sure the spaces are large enough to hold a token, one inch square is fine. I let Kiddo do some of this with me.
First player rolls both dice and then multiplies the numbers. So, if one die reads “4” and the other reads “6”, your product(result) is 24. Move to that space/that number of spaces.
Go round the table, each person gets a turn.
Next time around you can:
Add the product to the number the token is already on
Let your child count out the spaces.
Be sure to provide scratch paper, or allow your child time to do the computation in their heads.
This is a great time to teach little shortcuts: “Oh, your token is on 47 and you get to go forward 25; we know 50 plus 25 is 75, so…?” Let them figure it out or not. Don’t get stuck on this if they have their own way of working it out. The point of the game is to keep it moving and keep it fun.
The first one to 100 is the winner. Play again!
I’m going to add in some fun things over the next few days, like having Kiddo write in silly activities for the spaces which are products of factors squared. (like 4, 9, 16, etc.) You can also have them count the spaces in between those products; they actually have a pretty interesting pattern. Or have multiples of 5 colored in, signalling ‘get up and dance’, that many jumping jacks, or a simple “woot! Woot!” for kids who are less inclined to do the physical things. :) Again, the point is to keep it fun, keep it moving.
If you have a child for whom losing just destroys them-- play it as a cooperative game. Maybe make a prediction at the beginning of the game to see how many turns it will take for your ‘team’ to reach 100. Like all open-ended games, make it work for your kid!