4th February 2020
Know Your Times Tables is an educational game, created by Graham P. Woodward, designed to help children learn and retain multiplication facts.
I am keen to try any games that help children retain their times tables as I believe that the ability to recall multiplication facts quickly is the key to unlocking a wider understanding of mathematics. As I always say to my pupils, “once you become confident with your times tables, other areas of maths become so much easier.”
Having used this game with my students (aged from 6 to 12 years) for the last few months, I thought I would write a product review based upon my experience. You can view my unboxing video below and see a demonstration of how to play.
What is in the box?
- 12 times table strips (1x to 12x)
- 11 sets of answer digit cards for each times table (2x to 12x)
- 11 sets of multiplier cards (2x to 12x)
- 5 spare blank cards
- A bag of 50 scoring counters
- Information brochure
When I first opened the game, I was impressed with the production quality – it is very well made and the illustrations on the box make it appealing to children.
The concept of the game is quite simple which is great as children can easily pick it up and play with minimal explanation. I like that the answers to each multiplication fact have been split into separate digits because this encourages children to think about place value. The game is also very versatile; it can be played in many different ways at various levels of challenge. The different ways of playing are detailed in the information brochure.
How To Play
For the easiest version of this game, position the multiplication strips in order from 1 x to 12 x and spread the answer digits face up for children to find.
To make this more challenging, you can mix up the order of the multiplication strips. This will help children to recall facts quickly and discourage them from simply counting in multiples on their fingers. However, I would recommend keeping the cards in the correct order until the children are ready for this next step.
Another way to make the game more challenging is to shuffle all the answer digits and place them in a face down pile. This way children have to position the cards one at a time as they are turned over instead of being able to look for the easy answers first.
My students have found the competitive version of the game the most enjoyable way to play. For this, children can play against each other or against an adult. To play, put the answer digit cards in a face down pile then take it in turns to turn one over and place it down. If the player puts the digit in the correct place, they earn one counter. If they position the card in the incorrect place, they do not earn a counter and the card is put at the bottom of the pile. If a player is able to complete a 2 digit answer, they can earn two counters. Once all the digit cards have been placed correctly, the winner is the player with the most counters.
An alternative way to play this game is to ask children to complete two times tables at once. However, for this, you would be required to purchase an additional pack of multiplication strips.
It is also possible to purchase division strips to go with this game so that children can practise using the inverse operation.
What do children think?
“I think it is fun because you get to win counters. It helps me learn my times table because I have to count in 8s to help me decide where to put the digits,” Avani, aged 8
“I enjoyed the game and I like being timed to complete the times tables faster each time,” Aman, aged 11
“The game is great for children who need to learn their times tables. It also helps other children to get faster and more confident,” Avni, aged 12
“It has helped me to learn my 5 times tables,” Mya, aged 6
I have been impressed with this game and it has certainly helped my students to become more confident when recalling multiplication facts.
My only criticism would be that I would ensure that all times tables were included inside the lid for self-checking purposes.
With that said, this is a great game and my students thoroughly enjoy the competitive version, winning counters for correct answers. What’s more, playing the various versions of this game has allowed children to identify and remember specific multiplication facts that they may have been struggling to recall.
I would certainly recommend this game to teachers, tutors, parents and schools. 👍🏻
Where to Buy
For a chance to win a copy of this game to use with your pupils, all you have to do is share this post on Twitter. Make sure you follow me (@juliannebritton) and use the #KnowYourTimesTables hashtag.
The winner will be announced on March 1st 2019.