Thursday, 22 August 2013

Learn Multiplication Outside

When I was a student, learning the times tables involved drills, repetition and boring worksheets. For my son, I want to make learning multiplication fun. Since posting Times Tables: Where to start? we have been exploring different ways how to learn the twos, fives and ten times tables that involves whole body learning outside! Here are some of the different activities we have been learning the times tables. 

Skip Counting on Steps
Our first activity involved using garden stones. We used chalk to write the numbers for skip counting in fives, onto our stones. Once this was done we  used the stones to walk on and called out the numbers as we skip counted in fives all the way to sixty (sixty was the number my son chose). My son also used these stones to answer the multiplication sum that I called out. For example, I'd give him a sum "two times five or two groups of five" and my son would work out the answer and stand on the stone with that answer. 

Jumping Multiplication
Another outdoor multiplication activity we have done is with our trampoline. We have use our trampoline for many different outdoor 'writing' activities so this time we used it again to write down (with chalk) the numbers for skip counting in fives. We then use the numbers to jump on as we counted forwards and backwards (in fives) calling out the numbers as we went

Once we have "jump" counted our number pattern, we used this multiplication wheel to see our sum. Because my son is a visual learner, calling out the sum was tricky so by having this multiplication wheel, it helped him to see the sum and made working out the answer easier.

Number Target
Our next multiplication activity that we have done outside is number target. Again we used chalk to write our numbers up on the brick wall and used a water gun to shoot the numbers on the wall. At first we wrote the numbers small but found that bigger numbers on the wall was easier to shoot. I called out the sum "two times five or two groups of five" and my son would work out the answer and use his water gun to shoot the answer. 

Our last outdoor multiplication is hopscotch. We drew out hopscotch with chalk (again) and added our sums to it. We then threw a stone and whatever square (sum) the stone landed on we would answer that sum before skipping over that square and pick up the rock. 

We have been playing these games for over two weeks now and I can already see big improvements with my son recalling and understanding of multiplications. For more activity ideas for learning about multiplication, you can visit my Maths - Multiplication & Division pinterest board.


  1. What creative ways to learn math! Great post.

  2. Thank you for these ideas!