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Math Finger Tricks and Games to Learn and Practice the Multiplication Times Tables

Circle time is a great opportunity to demonstrate fun tricks that will get students interested in practicing their times tables.

Nines Trick

This trick will help give students a way to check their nines times tables from 1 x 9 to 10 x 9. This worksheet provides instructions. Remember to reinforce that the tables should eventually be memorized for quick recall.

Finger Trick Multiplication Times Tables 6-10

This trick allows students to check the higher tables of 6 to 10 by using their knowledge of the lower multiplication tables 1-4 and addition. It is a a bit confusing but fun to do and generates an interest in practicing. Reinforce to your students that eventually they will need to be able to know the tables by quick recall. This video demonstrates the trick and the follow are written instructions you can print out.


Written Instructions

Hold your hands up in front of you. Give each finger a number from 6-10 starting with your thumbs at six. Your baby finger will be 10. Holding your fingers towards each other, you can figure out the product of the two numbers chosen from 6-10 by a combination of multiplication of the smaller tables and addition.

Summary of Finger Values

  • thumb is 6
  • index is 7
  • middle is 8
  • ring finger is 9
  • pinky is 10

Example One

6 x 7: Touch the six finger on hand one (your thumb) with the seven finger on the other hand (index finger). Count the finger touching and those above to get three. Each of these is a group of ten. You should have three groups of ten to get thirty. Take the remaining fingers on each hand below and multiply (3 x 4 = 12). Next, add this product of 12 to the thirty you found earlier to get 42. 6 x 7 = 42

Example Two

8 x 8: Hold your hands thumbs up facing you. Touch the two middle fingers together. Count the fingers touching and above to get six tens (sixty). Multiply the remaining fingers below on each had 2 x 2 = 4. Add them to the sixty you found previously to get 64. 8 x 8 = 64.

Example Three

7 x 9: Hold your hands thumbs up facing you. Touch your index finger (7) on one hand with the fourth finger (9) together. Count the fingers touching and above to get six tens (sixty). Multiply the remaining fingers below on each had 3 x 1 = 3. Add them to the sixty you found previously to get 63. 7 x 9 = 63.

Fingers Math Game

Similar to the game rock, paper and scissors, students pair up to play a game where on the count of three they each randomly put out fingers from 0-10. Then it is a race to answer the math fact. For example if child # 1 holds out six fingers and child #2 holds out seven fingers, they would yell out the product 42. This game can also be played with younger students to reinforce adding skills. You can also play in teams or groups of three by having the third person answer the questions and taking turns.

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