The Best Free Multiplication Games To Play At KS1 & KS2 For Classroom Engagement

Multiplication games are a great way to help children practise key multiplication skills. Multiplication is taught throughout the entire primary school maths curriculum, right from Year 1 (doubling, and counting in 2s, 5s and 10s) up to Year 6 (4- by 2-digit long multiplication). A key part of the multiplication content in primary school is learning times tables – children are required to know all their tables up to 12×12 by the end of Year 4. 

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of twelve fun multiplication games to support the development of these key skills. Most require no equipment at all, and the rest use items that can easily be sourced in any school.

How to use these multiplication games

Put ‘multiplication games’ into a search engine and the results will most likely be a plethora of online games. All of the games suggested below don’t require a computer or internet connection at all – just good old-fashioned fun! Some can be played as a whole class, some in multiplayer small groups and some in pairs.

Long Multiplication Worksheets For KS2

Long Multiplication Worksheets For KS2

45 ready-to-use worksheets (including answer sheets!) to help pupils practice their long multiplication skills.

When to use multiplication games

Multiplication games and times tables games are great as maths starters, or ‘warm-ups’. They could also be used to wrap up a lesson (perhaps even as a bribe – “if you work hard enough this lesson we can play XYZ at the end”).

Fun games like these are also great for those spare 5 or 10 minutes we sometimes have before lunch, at the end of the day, or even in the middle of a lesson if you feel like the children – or even you! – need a ‘brain break’!

What are the benefits of multiplication games?

A lot of the multiplication content in the curriculum – especially from Years 1-4 – is about counting in multiples, repeated addition and multiplication tables, which can all get rather repetitive. Each of these educational games is a slightly more fun way of encouraging children to practise their multiplication skills. 

For more multiplication resources take a look at:

Multiplication games are especially great for those children who struggle with maths. Without a pen, pencil, multiplication worksheets or formal questions, and feeling as though they aren’t going ‘traditional’ maths at all, pupils can be learning multiplication skills in a low risk environment.

Multiplication games KS1

Year 1 multiplication games

Game: Who’s missing? Can children identify the missing multiple?


What you need:
10 mini whiteboards

How to play:

  • Ask 10 children to stand at the front and write the first 10 multiples of either 2, 5 or 10 on their boards. Let’s use 2 as an example here, so each board would have every multiple of 2 from 2 – 20 written on it
  • Have the rest of the class close their eyes and ask one of the children at the front to step out the line – ask the rest of the children to shuffle up and close the gap
  • Ask the class to open their eyes – whoever can work out the multiple that’s missing can come and replace the missing child!

Make it easier:

  • Only use 5 children at the front (for the first 5 multiples of 2, 5 or 10)
  • When one of the children steps out of line, keep the gap there so it’s clearer which multiple is missing
  • Give children a number line (or ‘help sheet’ of some sort) to help them count the multiples

Make it harder:

  • As well as asking a child to step out of line, ask the rest of the children at the front to muddle up so the multiples aren’t in order any more

Game: Messy doubling!


What you need:
small pieces of paper (A6 or A5) folded in half; paint

How to play:

  • Show the children the pre-folded piece of paper under a visualiser (if no visualiser available, do this with a much larger piece of paper)
  • Ask the children to pick a number from 1-10 and choose one child to use the paint to mark that many blobs of paint/fingerprints on one side of the paper (make sure the paint is quite wet! They could use a paintbrush if you’d prefer)
  • Encourage the children to arrange these numbers as arrays if possible – you could model this first
  • Fold the piece of paper so that the wet fingerprints will print on the other half of the paper. Before unfolding, ask the class to tell you how many blobs of paint will be on the piece of paper now (what is the original number doubled?)
  • Unfold the piece of paper to reveal the answer – whoever got it correct before the reveal can do the fingerprints for the next amount!

Make it easier:

  • Only use the numbers 1-10
  • Give the children concrete materials to help them work out what the number will be double

Make it harder:

  • Use numbers larger than 10
  • Work backwards – show the children the piece of paper already doubled/printed and ask them what the original number would have been
third space learning tuition slide on multiplication using arrays
Multiplication arrays are useful supports to  teach multiplication, which is why we use them in our Third Space Learning tutoring sessions (even more effective when there’s paint and mess involved!)

Year 2 multiplication games

Game: Trading tables


What you need:
Post-it notes

How to play:

  • Write multiplication questions (based on the 2s, 5s, or 10s) on some Post-it notes and stick them on each child’s forehead! (or jumper, or ask them to hold it)
  • Ask the children to circulate the classroom and answer the question on someone else’s forehead – once they’ve answered it correctly, they swap Post-its and continue to circulate to answer someone else’s question

Make it easier:

  • Children can work in pairs and ‘share’ a Post-it note

Make it harder:

  • Write some extension questions or word problems including multiplication problems on each Post-it (perhaps marked with a star) – challenge children to answer both questions before moving on (you could put the answers on the back of the Post-it)

Game: Throwing tables! Practising multiplication facts


What you need:
inflatable or foam ball

How to play:

  • Write the numbers 1-12 evenly around the ball in a thick black marker pen
  • Ask the children to stand up and spread out around the room (or stand in a circle)
  • Throw the ball to a child – whichever number their right thumb lands on, or is nearest to, they have to multiply by 2, 3, 5 or 10 (whichever times table you are working on)
  • They then throw the ball on to someone else

Make it easier:

  • Write the numbers 1-5 in blue (or any different colour to black) and make sure they’re mixed out evenly amongst the numbers 6-12 on the ball. Ask the children to look for the nearest blue number and multiply that one instead

Make it harder:

  • Set a time limit for responses to improve fluency and speed (read about our other mental maths games here!)
  • Include numbers higher than 12 on the ball in green (or any different colour to black) and ask children to look for the nearest green number instead to use for the multiplication
Read our article on maths games KS1 for even more ideas to bring maths to life in your KS1 classroom.

Multiplication games KS2

Year 3 multiplication games

Game: Around the World


What you need:
nothing!

How to play:

  • Children sit in their seats in the classroom. Stand one child behind someone’s seat so these 2 children – let’s call them A (standing child) and B (seated child) – are in the game at a time
  • Ask A and B a multiplication question (in Year 3 they should know all times tables except 6, 7, 9 and 12) – the first person to get it correct wins and ‘moves on’ to the next person (if it were A, they would stand behind the next child’s seat; if it were B, they would get up to stand behind the next child’s seat and A would replace B in their seat)
  • You could have two pairs going on at the same time – A and B on one side of the room, C and D on the other side of the room. Ask each pair one question at a time and the winner continues to ‘move on’ until all children have had a go
  • If only one pair is playing at once, wait until all children have had a go – the final person standing is the winner. This could mean that one child has defeated everyone, or that the child in the very last pair to play gave the correct answer and happens to be the overall winner just from getting one correct answer!
  • If two pairs are playing at once (A and B, C and D), once all children have a go, have the two remaining children standing face off with each other to get the ultimate winner!
  • You can differentiate the questions as you go depending on which two children are playing at the time

Make it easier:

  • Ask simpler multiplication questions
  • Give compulsory thinking time (e.g. you can’t speak until I count down from 3)

Make it harder:

  • Ask more complex multiplication questions, for upper KS2 you could consider including fractions and mixed numbers
  • Set a time limit for a response (e.g. you’re both out if nobody has answered after 2 seconds)

Game: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Multiply!


What you need:
nothing!

How to play:

  • In pairs, each child shakes one fists three times (“rock, paper, scissors”) before holding out a number from 1-5
  • The first person to multiply both numbers together wins a point!

Make it easier:

  • One person always has to hold up a 2 (just to practise the 2 times table) or a 5 (just to practise the 5 times table)

Make it harder:

  • Add in the option to hold up zero
  • Use both hands to show numbers up to 10

Year 4 multiplication games

Game: Shout it out! How quickly can you recall your times tables?


What you need:
A pack of cards

How to play: 

  • Remove the Kings and Jokers from a pack of cards. Ace = 1, Jack = 11, Queen = 12 and all the other numbers are themselves
  • In pairs, split the pack in half and give each partner half each
  • Each partner draws a card and lays it on the table simultaneously – the children must multiply both numbers together
  • The first person to give the correct answer keeps both cards
  • If it’s a draw (correct answer said at the same time), children keep one card each
  • The person with the most cards at the ends wins

Make it easier:

  • Remove as many cards as necessary, e.g. all picture cards (except the Aces) to just practise 1-10 tables, etc.
  • Children draw the cards one at a time (so they can get their head round which ‘times table’ they will be working in once the first card is drawn)

Make it harder:

  • Add in Kings in to represent 13 – children should be able to work this out by adding one more multiple of the times table
  • Add in the Jokers to represent 0 – children often get caught out when multiplying by 0!
  • Keep one card down at all times – when the children draw their two cards, they have to multiply all 3 numbers together instead (the two they’ve drawn plus the one in the middle)

Game: Splat! How quickly can you identify a multiple of a times table?


What you need:
nothing!

How to play:

  • Two children stand back-to-back with a pointed finger at the ready
  • A 3rd person (the teacher or another child) sets the multiple for the game – let’s use 7 as an example in this case
  • The 3rd person calls out numbers – but not multiples of the given number. For each number that isn’t a multiple of the given number, the children take a step forward, further away from each other. For example, with 7 as our example: “13… (step)… 25… (step…) 19… (step)”
  • At some point, the 3rd person calls out a multiple of the given number – when the two children recognise this as a number in the times table, they have to turn around, point their finger at their partner and shout ‘Splat!’. For example, “13… (step)… 25… (step…) 19… (step)… 21 – Splat!
  • The first person to ‘splat’ their partner wins!

Make it easier:

  • Make the given number an easier times table (e.g. 5 or 10)
  • Give the children a set amount of thinking time (e.g. 2 seconds) before they’re allowed to step forward or ‘splat’

Make it harder:

  • Set two numbers as the multiples, e.g. 7 and 6. The children must then listen out to multiples of both numbers
  • Give a different instruction for a different multiple. For example, they must ‘splat’ for a multiple of 7, step forward for a non-multiple of 7 but stand still for a multiple of 5

Year 5 multiplication games

Game: Fizz Buzz (an old classic!) Can you replace multiples of a number with a word?


What you need:
nothing!

How to play:

  • Ask the children to stand in a circle (minimum groups of 6, maximum the whole class!)
  • Choose 2 numbers to be the multiples of this game. One will be ‘fizz’ and one will be ‘buzz’ – 3 and 5 work quite well for this, so we shall use 3 as ‘fizz’ and 5 as ‘buzz’
  • Start with just the 3s – count round the circle, each child saying a number, but when it gets to a multiple of 3, that child must say ‘fizz’ instead. For example, “1, 2, fizz, 4, 5, fizz, 7, 8, fizz, 10, 11, fizz…” etc. If someone says the number instead of the word, they’re out!
  • Now practise with the 5s – count round the circle again but when it gets to a multiple of 5, that child must say ‘buzz’ instead. For example, “1, 2, 3, 4, buzz, 6, 7, 8, 9, buzz, 11, 12, 13, 14, buzz…” etc. Again, if someone says the number instead of the word, they’re out!
  • Now it gets tricky as we’re going to combine the two – if a number is both a multiple of 3 and 5 (a common multiple), the child must say ‘fizz-buzz’! So it should sound like this… “1, 2, fizz, 4, buzz, fizz, 7, 8, fizz, buzz, 11, fizz, 13, 14, fizz-buzz, 16, 17, fizz…” etc. This round should knock out children pretty quickly!

Make it easier:

  • Remove the last step (common multiples) and allow children to just say one of the words instead of both
  • Remove ‘fizz’ or ‘buzz’ and count round with only one multiple instead

Make it harder:

  • Set a time limit – if children take too long to say their number or word (e.g. more than 3 seconds), they’re out!
  • Add a 3rd multiple with the word ‘pop’ – in this case, you could do 2 (pop), 3 (fizz) and 5 (buzz) – this would mean that 30 would be ‘fizz buzz pop’!

Game: Area Tetris


What you need: dice, rulers, squared paper and 2 coloured pencils

How to play:

  • In pairs, children sit either side of a piece of squared paper
  • Each partner takes it in turns to roll two dice (or one die twice) – these numbers will be the dimensions of a rectangle that they must draw on their piece of paper. For example, if a child rolled a 5 and a 3, they must draw a 5 by 3 rectangle in their choice of colour on their side of the paper and write the area (15 square units) inside
  • They must decide the orientation and placement of the first rectangle, and each rectangle thereafter, so that no gaps are left (if possible) between any of the shapes
  • Their partner then repeats this – rolling the dice, drawing their rectangle and calculating the area
  • The game stops when there is no space left on the paper to draw any more rectangles
  • The winner is the person who has covered the most area with their rectangles – this can be calculated by adding all the areas together
example of math tetris multiplication game

Make it easier:

  • Use bigger-squared paper, or paper with fewer squares

Make it harder:

  • Use smaller-squared paper, or paper with more squares
  • Use dice with more than 6 sides, or ask the children to roll it more than once

Year 6 multiplication games

Game: Roll the result!


What you need:
pen and paper or mini whiteboard, dice

How to play:

  • In pairs, each draw a 3- by 2-digit numbers column multiplication but with empty boxes, as below
multiplication game image
  • Take it in turns to roll a die and choose in which place value of which number to place that digit in the multiplication
  • Once all 5 boxes have been filled, complete the multiplication – the person with the biggest final value wins
  • You could change this to make the winner the person with the smallest final value!

Make it easier:

  • Change it to a 3- by 1-digit multiplication (or 2- by 1-digit)

Make it harder:

  • Change it to a 4-by 2-digit multiplication
  • Use a 9-sided die

Game: Product Power!


What you need:
2 mini whiteboards and pens

How to play:

  • Two children stand at the front of the class back-to-back
  • Child A can write any number under 100 with up to 2 decimal places; child B can write any power of 10 up to 10,000. Each child writes their number on a mini whiteboard and shows the class (without seeing each other’s)
  • Choose a child to work out the product of the two numbers (e.g. child A writes 32.5, child B chooses 1,000, so the product is 32,500)
  • The first child to work out the number on their partner’s whiteboard wins!

Make it easier:

  • Child A can only choose a number under 10
  • Child A can only choose a number with 1 decimal place (or none)
  • Child B can only choose a power of 10 up to 1,000
  • Ensure a set amount of thinking time before either child can call out an answer

Make it harder:

  • Child A can choose a number up to 1,000
  • Child A can choose a number with 3 decimal places
  • Child B can choose a power of 10 up to 1,000,000
  • Set a time limit – if nobody says an answer within 3 seconds, both children are out!

For more ideas to get your KS2 students engaged in maths, read our article on maths games KS2

See below for further maths games for your classroom:

Do you have pupils who need extra support in maths?
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Sophie Bartlett
Sophie Bartlett
Year 6 Teacher
Sophie teaches mixed age classes at a small school in central England. She is a self confessed grammar pedant and number nerd so we've welcomed her as a regular author and editor for Third Space Learning.
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Long Multiplication Worksheets For KS2

Long Multiplication Worksheets For KS2

45 ready-to-use worksheets (including answer sheets!) to help pupils practice their long multiplication skills.

Download Free Now!

Long Multiplication Worksheets For KS2

Downloadable resource

45 ready-to-use worksheets (including answer sheets!) to help pupils practice their long multiplication skills.

Download Free Now!
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FREE Place Value Pack of Lessons, Worksheets, Questions and Answers

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