The Flash Cards
Multiplication flash cards are an effective tool to help teach children their times tables.
After all, no matter which way you look at it, there is a significant element of memorization needed to master the times tables. Trying to do math without having learned these basic math facts gets increasingly difficult the older a child gets.
There are several sets of cheap multiplication flash cards on the market. For example, this set sells for only a few dollars and has received good customer reviews.
However, if you would prefer to pay nothing, why not give our free printable multiplication flash cards a go?
Our Free Flash Cards
We have produced two sets – one in color and one in black and white – with both containing every times table from the 2s through the 12s in both directions (for example, we have included both 3 X 6 = 18 as well as 6 X 3 = 18).
To get started, simply print out the cards and cut them out, remembering not to cut the vertical line linking each question and answer. Then fold each card along the vertical line and glue the two parts together, leaving you with the question on one side and the answer on the other.
Suggestions For Use
There are numerous ways to take advantage of the cards. Here are just a few:
1. Play games: Some children will love competing with their parents or other family members. Simply take some or all of the cards, in order or out of order, and see who can correctly answer the whole lot in the shortest time, as measured on a stopwatch. Early on, if you are a lot quicker than your child, give yourself a time handicap to make things closer.
2. Individual learning: Let’s say your child is starting to learn the 7 times table. Encourage them to cycle through the 7 times table cards, looking at the question side and working out the answer and then turning over the card to check. As they gain confidence and speed challenge them to shuffle up the cards. Even just a few minutes spent a day on this should prove very beneficial.
3. Take the cards away on vacation: Because they are so portable and require no other materials, flash cards are a great option to throw into a suitcase for when the family goes away. Ten minutes of quick drills before you all hit the pool can work wonders.
4. Use them in reverse: A fun way to add some variety is to play a game where one person shows the other the answer side and asks them to guess the question. Some are easy – after all 49 can only have one question: 7 X 7. But others are not so straightforward – for example, 18 could be 6 X 3, 3 X 6, 9 X 2 or 2 X 9. This adds an element of luck to the game, meaning that your child has a chance of beating you!
5. Practice addition too: Division is closely related to multiplication. If your child is progressing well, why not print off our free division flash cards and mix these in too?
It is great to promote all manner of hands-on strategies to teach children the concept of multiplication. Building blocks and counters and real life examples of the times tables definitely all have their place.
But when it is all boiled down, there is no way of avoiding that children simply have to spend time committing the times tables to memory.
And this is where multiplication flash cards come in – used properly they are fun, quick and flexible. And above all, they work!