Five Great Multiplication Tricks

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Five Great Multiplication Tricks

September 12, 2013

Practice and memorization play a role in learning math, but there’s nothing wrong with having a few tricks up your sleeve, too. Provide your kids with simple tips and tricks they can apply when multiplying to make the process easy and fun.

Here are 5 great multiplication tips to get you started:

1. Remind your kids that multiplication is simply fast addition. If they can add, they can multiply. It just takes time and patience to get the hang of it. For example, if you child is struggling with 2 x 8, remind him that this just means two 8s and 8 + 8 = 16. This may seem very simple and easy to adults, but children can benefit from such reminders until multiplication really clicks for them.

2. When you multiply by 5, your answer will always end in either 5 or 0. Also, the endings change with each number 5 x 1 = 5 (ends in 5), 5 x 2 = 10 (ends in 0), 5 x 3 = 15 (ends in 5), 5 x 4 = 20 (ends in 0), and so on. Kids who like number patterns may especially appreciate this hint.

3. If you’re multiplying by 6 and an even number, the answer will always end in the same digit as the even number does. Here is how this works:  6 x 2 = 12 (the even number and answer both end with 2), 6 x 12 = 72 (even number and answer both end with 2), and 6 x 84 = 504 (even number and answer both end with 4).

4. When you are multiplying by 10, there’s really no need to do the math at all. Just take the number you are multiplying by and add a zero to it. For example, if you are multiplying 10 times 2, just go ahead and add a zero after the 2 to make 20. The same goes with larger numbers. 10 times 10,000 is just 10,000 with an extra zero added on, so 100,000.

5. Multiplying by 11 can be super easy. For multiplying 11 by numbers up to 9, simply double the digit by which you are multiplying. For example, 11 x 4 = 44. If you multiply 11 x 9, the answer is 99. Once you get to multiplying 11 by numbers over 9, you have to do a little math. For these numbers, add the digits of the numbers you are multiplying by 11. For instance, for 11 x 12, add 1 + 2 to make 3. The 3 becomes the middle digit of the sum, which you will place between the 1 and 2. The answer is 132. Try this with 16: 1 + 6 = 7, so when you put 7 between the 1 and the 6, you get 176 (the correct answer). Keep in mind that this little trick only works if the sum of the numbers you are multiplying by is 9 or less.

 Do you have a great math trick to share? Let us know in the comments!


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About the Author

Kim Moldofsky

Kim Moldofsky is a mom of teen boys in the Chicago area. She blogs at and hosts a the popular monthly #STEMchat on Twitter where parents and educators share ideas and resources to raise STEM-loving kids.

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