Let's be honest; it takes years to get to grips with all the times tables. A large number of short sessions is better than long intensive sessions.

There is no substitute for repetition when learning times tables. The key is to try to make it enjoyable.

If you have a flight of stairs to play on then you can really have some fun.

Here is an idea that takes about 5 or 10 minutes each day until they know them all well.

Say you want to learn the 3 times table...

The first step is 3, the next is 6, the next is 9, and so on..

Get your child to jump* up the stairs counting in threes. Then jump* back down each step, counting back down in threes.

Focus on the first 5 steps on day 1.

On day 2 cover the first 5 steps again, but add 6, 7 and 8. Jumping back down each one at a time.

On day 3 do the same for 12 steps.

On day four you can really mix it up. Ask them to jump up to the 6th step counting each step, jump down three, back up five, and so on..

I found that there were key "anchor points" at 5 and 10 which the kids would be able to memorize quickly, so if they needed to work out what 3 x 7 was, they could add two more 3 from 3 x 5, i.e. "15" -> "18" -> "21" rather than starting from "3".

There is no substitute for repetition when learning times tables. The key is to try to make it enjoyable.

**Playing on the Stairs**If you have a flight of stairs to play on then you can really have some fun.

Here is an idea that takes about 5 or 10 minutes each day until they know them all well.

Say you want to learn the 3 times table...

The first step is 3, the next is 6, the next is 9, and so on..

Get your child to jump* up the stairs counting in threes. Then jump* back down each step, counting back down in threes.

Focus on the first 5 steps on day 1.

On day 2 cover the first 5 steps again, but add 6, 7 and 8. Jumping back down each one at a time.

On day 3 do the same for 12 steps.

On day four you can really mix it up. Ask them to jump up to the 6th step counting each step, jump down three, back up five, and so on..

I found that there were key "anchor points" at 5 and 10 which the kids would be able to memorize quickly, so if they needed to work out what 3 x 7 was, they could add two more 3 from 3 x 5, i.e. "15" -> "18" -> "21" rather than starting from "3".

** In these litigious times, I have to state the obvious and say, please make sure that this is done safely, one step at a time and with appropriate supervision. (But jumping is more fun that stepping!)***Lego-like Bricks**

If you happen to have some plastic building bricks lying around (our house is full of them!) you have a very good way of explaining times tables.

The dots on the bricks are grouped into a certain number per brick. We can look at a number of bricks of the same size and count the dots. Four times two can be shown as two bricks each with four dots, so its easy to visualise the grouping and the multiples, and how they add up to the total of eight dots.

It is also easy to show that two times four - four bricks with two dots each - is the same number of dots as four times two. Its important to know that 4 x 2 is the same as 2 x 4, so we only need to remember that answer once.

**Adding is Really Important**

The ability to add numbers together is an important basis to learning times tables.

Number-bonds are key to this.

Being able to identify the numbers that can add together to make groups of ten is a good first step. e.g. 7 + 3 = 10 and 5 + 5 = 10

Then being able to add two numbers that amount to more than ten, by splitting a number to make a group of ten and the remainder will really help, e.g. 7 + 7 is the same as 7 + 3 + 4, so 10 + 4 = 14

If you kid is struggling with the times tables, it might be worth taking a step to adding. Don't worry - they will get there. It takes time and small amounts of regular practice. Encourage them with each step.

**Get a Good App**

Most kids love mobile devices, so a good app that will challenge them and reward them for their progress can make a big difference.

If you can get a good app that will work through the tables at a pace that suits your children, for about £1, that's safe to use...

I'm sure there is a good one... What's it called again... OH YEAH!

How to look like a genius with the 9 Times Table

... or ...

**Mess with your friends head using the following cool trick - Part 1.**

Ask a friend to write down a big number, say 7 digits long and you will be able to tell them if it divides by nine. If it doesn't you can explain that by changing any digit you can make it divide by nine.

For example, they write down 5,683,839.

All you have to do is add up the digits. 5 + 6 + 8 + 3 + 8 + 3 + 9 = 42.

If the answer to that sum has more than one digit add them again... 4 + 2 = 6.

If the answer is 9 then the number will divide by nine. If not we can make it divide by nine, by adding the difference. So 5,683,839 does not divide by 9, but if we add 3 to it 5,683,842 does! Freaky, huh!

Mess with your friend's head using the following cool trick - Part 2.

Ask your friend to think of a number between 2 and 10.

Ask them to multiply it by 9, add the digits of the answer together, divide by 3 and add 4. The result will always be 7!

If you cant see why this works, we know an app that can tell you !

(Or you can ask your teacher).

Ask them to multiply it by 9, add the digits of the answer together, divide by 3 and add 4. The result will always be 7!

If you cant see why this works, we know an app that can tell you !

(Or you can ask your teacher).