When you’re introducing the concept of multiplication to kids, it helps a ton to get their attention with an engaging hands-on game! Explore the concept of multiplication by grouping objects. The recording sheet is available to print at the bottom of the post!
We recently discovered the packs of mini erasers at the dollar spot at Target. Have you seen them? They have all kinds of cute designs, and you get 60 of them for only a buck! These little rockets are my favorite.
Owen is brand new to multiplication, so here’s how we did this activity. First I explained to him that multiplication is adding groups of numbers. He is already familiar with grouping through his math book (Making Math Meaningful 2nd grade from Cornerstone Curriculum). In his book, he has been using grouping notation. For example, 38 = 3(10) + 8 and 24 = 3(8) or 2(10) + 4.
I explained that we know three 10’s equal 30, so 3 x 10 = 30. Two groups of 4 equals 8, and so on.
Rockets and Planets Multiplication Game
Then I got out our rockets and planets (felt circles), a die, a dry erase pen, and a multiplication mat.
Here’s how to play!
Roll the die once. That number tells you how many planets to lay out.
Roll the die a second time. That number tells you how many rockets to put on each planet.
Count up the rockets to help you write your math sentence and then record your answer!
For example: 1st roll = 3, 2nd roll = 5. Set up 3 planets with 5 rockets on each one. 3 x 5 = 15 total rockets!
I chose to laminate our mat so that we can use it over and over again.
Aren’t the rockets the cutest?
Make it harder!
For beginners, use 1 die. Later you can change to two dice, or use a 12 sided math dice (Amazon affiliate link).
Keep multiplication practice interesting by changing up the objects!
An egg carton also works well for grouping. We used colorful marbles with an egg carton and played the multiplication game the same way.
Other ideas for fun multiplication games with dice:
- Donut erasers (Target dollar spot) and paper circles. Roll the dice once to tell you how many “plates” to set out. Roll again to tell you how many donuts to put on each plate.
- Paper cookies and real chocolate chips – Cut cookies out of tan construction paper. Roll once to tell you how many cookies to put out, and roll again to tell you how many chocolate chips to put on each cookie.
- Egg carton and buttons
- Plastic condiment cups and Lego bricks
- Circles and stickers – use tiny star stickers or other small stickers. Roll the dice once to tell you how many circles to draw. Roll again to tell you how many stickers to put in each circle.
Print your own multiplication mats! Click the link below. The file will open immediately and you can print from there.
CLICK HERE: Printable Multiplication Mats
Need more multiplication games?
- Play some Multiplication Football! The game board is very easy to make.
- Kids will enjoy solving these Star Wars Multiplication Puzzles.
- Here’s a fun hands-on LEGO Multiplication Towers Game.
- This Multiplication Snack Store is one of my favorite activities!