multiplication tables for 3 year old? - Mothering Forums
Parenting the Gifted Child > multiplication tables for 3 year old?
ferretfan's Avatar ferretfan 12:25 PM 10-21-2008
yesterday over supper, dd (who turned 3 last month) announced that she wanted to count to 100 by sixes (and sevens and elevens). i outlined a rough concept of multiplication tables for her and she's intrigued and wants to learn. she's an early reader, i was too but not at the age she learned. i can understand where she's coming from with the reading, but this math thing is not me. i suck at math

is there a format that others have presented to similar aged children? should i just go with a table, or is there something else that your kids enjoyed (like a pc program or something). should i have her look at addition and subtraction first? she can do some basic addition and generally loves numbers (particularly '1009'). just wondering what to do for her. she makes me feel inadequate at times

CarsonBookworm's Avatar CarsonBookworm 12:54 PM 10-21-2008
I do multiplication tables with my DD, and she's only 13 months old. Not as in a chart, but I'll take little snacks and put them in rows and say stuff like 2 (take two snacks) times 2 (take two more snacks) equals 4 (show all the snacks and then eat them.).
It shouldn't be too hard to get a hold of 200 beans or pieces of organic candy or whatever to use.

DD thinks that its hilarious, but I know that she's listening.

Make it fun. At your DD's age, don't take it so seriously with charts and all of that.
MtnLivinMama's Avatar MtnLivinMama 01:03 PM 10-21-2008
You might like this project:


Making it together could be a fun project for a three-year-old (assuming she is interested), and once complete, you have a beautiful wall hanging that she can go look at when she wants to count by sixes, and sevens, and elevens.....
Calidris's Avatar Calidris 01:44 PM 10-21-2008
rather than 2 times 2 or whatever, 2 "sets of" 2 will be more intuitive at that age.
Miss Information's Avatar Miss Information 01:48 PM 10-21-2008
Oh, my...that multiplication clock is so fabulous! What an innovative idea. I'm going to print it out and see if dd1 would be interested in working on the project with me.

Thanks for the linky.
Roar's Avatar Roar 03:10 PM 10-21-2008
I want to make the multiplication clock for me.

I think hands on experience of whatever kind - unit blocks, cuisenaire rods, etc. will result in more meaningful learning than a computer program for this.
Rainbow2911's Avatar Rainbow2911 04:18 PM 10-21-2008
I second saying 'sets of'. My little guy used to love counting in tables when he was small (2.5-3 ish). He used to demand a number to count to, then ask if he should count in "big, medium or little" numbers - 10s 5s and 2s. He moved onto the others when he was a little older (got side tracked by reading - he swaps between maths and reading as his main loves). He used a poster of the tables written out but that appeals to his nature.

She might enjoy looking at this if she likes computers. There are about three million games on here - scroll down to multiplication! They are aimed at older children but there may be some on there that she will enjoy.
eepster's Avatar eepster 11:52 PM 10-21-2008
Avoid focusing on "math facts" as seems to be so popular today. Memorizing may be faster in the short run, but an indepth understanding of number theory is more important in the long run.

Montessori materials are really well designed for giving children the mental tools they need to develop a good sense of number theory.
joensally's Avatar joensally 10:23 AM 10-22-2008
It sounds like she's asking about skip counting, which is pre-multiplication.

You could get a meter stick, which would contain 100 centimeters. Together, you can count by whatever interval she chooses to 100.

To expand it into multiplication concepts, you could take any small material (rice krispies, lentils, beans, small plastic math counters) and place them within each centimeter as you count that interval (0-6, 6-12 etc). Then, place elastic bands around that interval (or place the elastic bands beside the meter stick and move the beans into the elastic bands). This introduces sets.

If you can't get a meter stick, you could google "number line" and find worksheets, although they're hard to find to 100.
moominmamma's Avatar moominmamma 02:22 PM 10-22-2008
I agree with the suggestion to focus on skip counting rather than multiplication "facts" or "tables." The multiplication clock is however a great way to record one's skip counting in a systematic way, and to create something from which observations about the patterns of arithmetic can naturally occur by the child as she's ready. My now-5-year-old's interest in math began at three with similar explorations. We're only just now working on creating and memorizing the "tables" even though she explored the patterns of multiplication quite thoroughly in the past ... for instance, discerning the relationship between multiples of 8, 4 and 2.

I also wanted to comment on this:

Originally Posted by Calidris View Post
rather than 2 times 2 or whatever, 2 "sets of" 2 will be more intuitive at that age.
Our approach is similar. We've always taken the Miquon Math strategy of translating the multiplication symbol into language as "of" or "of the". This works beautifully for "4 x 7" which means "four of the sevens" but it also simplifies the conceptualization of multiplication at the middle-school math level. For instance "1/2 x 7/8" is understood as "half of seven-eighths" and "forty per cent of fifty" becomes "40% x 50" or "0.40 x 50."

Miss Information's Avatar Miss Information 06:01 PM 10-22-2008
DH just made a multiplication clock in autocad. He's my hero!!! My dd1 is going to color it!!!
fishface's Avatar fishface 07:36 PM 10-22-2008
moominmamma, I love your username! It brings back great memories!!!
heythere heather's Avatar heythere heather 07:49 PM 10-23-2008
Add another to the bench of don't focus heavily on facts, but on the concepts at this age. Do games with manipulatives, and practice skip counting together. One of my DS's favorite games at that age was where we would take turns saying the next number when skip counting--I'd start with 6, he'd say 12, I'd say 18, etc.

Make sets of objects with manipulatives to demonstrate multiplication.
EXOLAX's Avatar EXOLAX 07:21 PM 10-25-2008
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Avoid focusing on "math facts" as seems to be so popular today. Memorizing may be faster in the short run, but an indepth understanding of number theory is more important in the long run.

Montessori materials are really well designed for giving children the mental tools they need to develop a good sense of number theory.

I totally agree. Both of our kids are really into math, it actually wasn't until a few days ago we started thinking we might need to 'work' on memorization with our 7.5 year old, and at this point it's something we're thinking of mostly to help her with speed. We realized this while she was trying to figure out the numbers in correlation to a math puzzle she was doing "girls + girls = silly". I would put more focus on the innate understanding and worry about the memorization of the facts later, when it can help them when they want to advance.

FWIW we just made the 'clock' with our eldest. It was great fun (thanks for that link) but we only talked about the number skipping in each of the circles. As she was filling them in she started noticing all the patterns and had even more fun with that. Even though she has a compass, she's been having lots of fun making her own and seems more into that right now, but the use of the protractor was really great because she has been into angles lately.

OP - at the age your DC is I would focus more on manipulatives, or domino games a la EM (which I think is a really good program for 2-4 year olds). If she's really into math maybe some board games (monopoly, totally tut, math dash or hyper dash).
JeanneElle's Avatar JeanneElle 04:14 AM 10-28-2008
I did diagrams with my daughter for multiplication when she was about four. She was really interested and we had fun :-)

For example, if the equation was 4x3, I would draw four large circles and draw three dots in each one (or vice versa). She understood, and got to be really quick at it.

Too funny because today, actually, she brought home some finished work from school and that's exactly what is was - circles with dots inside for multiplication (she's in Grade 1, French Immersion). So I was teaching her the same method, just two years ahead, lol.