Best times tables learning tools
Every child learns differently, and this is especially true for times tables (the chanting / skipping around the garden routine that one child is happy to do will be rejected by their sibling, who might have huge success with a computer game where the correct answers to times tables questions defeat alien monsters).
There are a huge number of times tables learning tools on the market. Here's our pick; let us know how you get on and share your own brilliant discoveries!
Times tables rhymes and books
Does your child love wordplay and clever imagery? Harry's Magic Tables uses rhymes and illustrations to help times table stick in your child's mind, while Pull-the-tab Times Tables Book engages them with the moving tabs, pulled open to reveal the correct answer for every calculation.
Times tables stories
Using memorable short stories and interactive games, Table Fables teach children the times tables by giving them a hook to remember the answers. Colourful, simple and easy for KS1 children to use without help, it's a subscription site (from £12 a month), but you can take part in a free tutorial to see if it's right for your child.
Times tables accessories
There's no doubt that having multiplication number sentences placed strategically around the house – and on their person! – will make a difference to your child's recall of the times tables. You can make your own colourful posters together, but if you'd rather go for ready-made options we like Multibandz Times Tables Wristbands, Mutiplication Tables Placemats and Times Tables Art Posters.
Times tables visual mnemonics
An easy way to surround your child with visual reminders of multiplication sentences is to use Times Tables Wall Stickers. They're easy to stick onto (and remove from!) walls, windows, mirrors and furniture and while they won't leave a mark on your furnishings they will create a picture in your child's memory (connecting facts with a physical location is a well-known memory technique). A flash-card version of the multiplication tables is also available if you'd like to try some temporary memory displays too!
Times tables apps
Practice, practice and more practice will consolidate times tables skills... so it makes sense to ensure that the practice is as varied and engaging as possible. There are lots of times tables apps available, but do they all allow you to also train as a secret agent, battle to save the world in an arcade-style adventure or rescue Squeebles from the clutches of a heinous Maths Monster? We don't think so. Operation Math, Invasion of the Moon Monkeys and Squeebles Times Tables are available on the iTunes App Store.
We also pick the best times tables apps for kids in our parents' guide to multiplication apps.
Times tables puzzles
Times tables songs
Fed up of chanting times tables? Sing them instead! Two of the most popular times tables music compilations can be bought as CDs or as individual tunes; they're professionally produced and surprisingly catchy (don't say we didn't warn you...): Sing your times tables with Percy Parker (also available as a Percy Parker sing-along app) and Professor Mathmo and the Voyage to the Times Tables.
BBC Super Movers also has times tables learning songs and free videos.
Times tables speed challenges
Make times table speed practice into a race-against-the-clock competition with a secret weapon: a dry-wipe pen! Each of these sets includes one: Times Tables Random Mat with Secret Decoder also "hides" the answers until you uncover them with the decoder. The MATHExcellence SPEEDboard encourages your child to beat their own record and Magnetic Times Tables is a colourful set which comes with 144 reversible chunky magnet pieces
Times tables card and board games
Fight invading zombies by collecting target numbers to use against the undead horde (and learn multiplication tables at the same time). Times Square, a maths card and dice game recommended by National Numeracy, gets players using times tables and squaring to ensure humanity's survival. No pressure then!
Multiplication knowledge is essential if you want to shoot, score and win at two-player, football-themed game Top Tables. Players focus on individual times tables from 2 to 12; the game box includes a stadium base, score question cards, pass action cards, six football player markers with plastic bases and goal tokens.
A card-based learning system, Know Your Times Tables requires your child to form the answers to times tables questions by using single-digit cards. It's a hands-on, kinaesthetic way to reinforce your child's understanding of the patterns in multiplication tables.