Math Games

Musical Math Multiplication Games for Second Grade

This article discusses math multiplication games for second grade.  The first concept I cover is singing the multiplication tables.  The second is playing games with cards and dominoes.

My daughter understood multiplication very quickly.  I really think this was because I turned the times tables into songs.  Some of these songs were from School House Rock, some were from the PBS show “Peg plus Cat.”  She also made up some of the songs herself.  The amazing thing about the songs is that eventually she just “knew” how to do the multiplication.

However, before I got to the songs, I made sure she understood the meaning of multiplication.  I really followed Singapore Math and showed how having 2 groups of 3 will eventually become 2 x 3.  We spend quite a bit of time with grouping.  We grouped dolls, cars, eraser toys, rocks, flowers, and on and on.  It was actually a lot of fun.  Many of the blocks I bought of (place value) easily transferred to grouping.

Even now, if she takes  break from math multiplication games, when we come back to it the first thing I do is review grouping.  The second thing I do is review the related song.  This take very little time.  Then she starts doing her multiplication work.  We have worked through Singapore Math, and we review with “Math Bingo.”

Math Multiplication Games — Singing

My daughter learned the two times tables in school.  However, if she had needed to learn it, she could have used the two times tables from (Peg Plus Cat).  This turned out to be one of her favorite songs while she was in the second grade.

The 3 times tables song is from Schools house rock’s (Three Times Tables).  This was my favorite song when I was in school.  I loved the introduction that started with “Three is a magic number…”  This is also my daughter’s favorite part of the song.

For the four times tables, my daughter has adopted the two times tables song from (Peg plus Cat) and changed it to 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, (pant, pant), 24, 28, 32, 36, and 40.  I like this song because it requires quite a bit of movement to copy what Peg is doing.  I use to do this song with her when we played outside.

The five times tables is also from Schools house Rock’s (Five Times Tables).  This song is fun because it’s about a lot of kids playing hide and seek.  This is one of my daughter’s favorite games. She could play this forever.

Math Multiplication Games — Cards & Dominoes

The math multiplication games that use cards and dominoes basically follow the same format as the games for addition and subtraction.

Cards War – Multiplication

War card games are a staple of math games. Traditional war has two or more players each placing a card on a table, and the player with the highest value wins the round. In Multiplaction War, each player places 2 cards on the table and multiplies them. The player with the highest result wins the round. You will need to come up with a rule if your child chooses a multiplication that they have not learned yet like 6×7. In our household we keep the multiplication tables on display, and she can look up answers that we have not covered yet. Note: please remove the Jacks, Queens, and Kings. Ace = 1.

  • Shuffle the deck of cards.
  • Deal the entire deck out evenly between both players.
  • One player at a time flips over two cards, multiplies them, and announces the result. The child with the highest result takes all of the cards.
  • When all of the cards have been flipped over, each player counts up their own cards. The player with the most cards wins.

Dominoes War – Multiplication

Dominoes War is played exactly like the War game with cards. Use the dominoes that go to 6 for second grade and you can use the dominoes that go to 9 for more advanced children.

  • Shuffle the dominoes face down.
  • One player at a time flips over a domino and multiplies the number of dots on each side. The child with the highest points takes both dominoes. (You will need to decide what do do when the multiplication is higher than what you’ve covered with your child. We use the multiplication tables.)
  • When both players have used all of their dominoes, they can each count up their own dominoes. The player with the most dominoes wins.

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