How to Make Multiplication Math Aids Using Popsicle Sticks


Learning the multiplication tables is an essential part of every child's education, but it can be difficult for some students. It takes time, patience and lots of practice for students to commit these equations to memory. One way to help make the learning process fun is to create simple math aids. By using inexpensive Popsicle sticks, you can make four tools to help your child practice the multiplication tables.

Things You'll Need

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Markers
  • Plastic cups
  • Write numbers one through 12 on the end of Popsicle sticks, one number per stick. Create two sets of numbered sticks, 24 sticks total. Place each set of sticks in a plastic cup, number side down. Have a student draw one stick from each cup and multiply the numbers, then return the sticks to the cups. To make this a game, have students take turns drawing sticks. A correct answer earns the student a point. The student with the most points at the end of 10 rounds wins.

  • Write multiplication equations on the ends of Popsicle sticks, one equation per stick. You will need 12 sticks for each multiplication table you're reviewing. Place the sticks into a plastic cup, equation side down. Have students take turns drawing sticks and answering the equation. If the student answers correctly, he keeps the stick. The student with the most sticks at the end of the game wins.

  • Write a multiplication equation on one side of a Popsicle stick. Flip the stick and write the answer on the other side. Repeat this to create a set of aids for each multiplication table. Two students can quiz each other, using the sticks like flash cards, or a student can work alone by placing them equation side up on a table and turning them over to check his answers.

  • Write the equations for each number in a multiplication table on Popsicle sticks, one equation per stick. Then write the answers to these equations on separate sticks, one answer per stick. Place the equation sticks face down on one side of a table and the answer sticks face down on the other side. The student can play a game of concentration, trying to match the equations with the correct answers. When a match is found, the student may pick up the equation and answer sticks. When all the matches have been made, the game is over. Students can play alone or compete against an opponent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Color-coordinate your Popsicle stick aids to help organize them according to sets of multiplication tables. Assign each multiplication table a color and use colored Popsicle sticks or write the equations in different colors.
  • When writing numbers six and nine, use a line under the number to designate the bottom and avoid confusion.

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