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**Answer** by MobySnoodles
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Mar 30, 2013 at 06:43 PM

Short answer: problems and projects. If you work with creative, non-routine problems and projects where a lot of multiplication (or any other technical skill) is used, the fluency of that skill will improve. For example, suppose you want to program a flight game in Scratch. There will be a whole lot of little tasks involving adding or multiplying coordinates of objects. To figure out algorithms, you will use - and practice - mundane skills. A family I know, back when people balanced checkbooks by hand, delegated the task to their eight-year-old, with some help from the parents. That was a lot of practice for fluency! "Just put the times tables where the kid can see" is a piece of folk wisdom from [this survey of how unschoolers use multiplication][1]. ![Ways to memorize][2] And this picture mentions another method: studying patterns. There are greatly many of them in the multiplication table. For example, the first digit of times nine being one less than the number. [1]:
http://naturalmath.wikispaces.com/Child-Led+Multiplication+Study [2]:
http://naturalmath.wikispaces.com/file/view/Multiplication-table.jpg/157696971/Multiplication-table.jpg

**Answer** by Denise Gaskins
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Mar 31, 2013 at 05:54 PM

When my kids were young, my favorite math game was to [exchange story problems][1] we made up for each other. This promoted fluency and comfort with math that never left them. As they grew and we began doing semi-regular math workbooky stuff, we did almost everything orally, which developed mental math skills. I didn't push math facts at all (until about 4th grade, when I told them it was time to pin down any of the [multiplication table][2] that they hadn't picked up through use). We did play [number bond games][3] and [other math games][4] that I suppose would count as "drill"---but we did them for fun. [1]:
http://letsplaymath.net/2012/05/14/tell-me-a-math-story/ [2]:
http://letsplaymath.net/2011/09/06/how-to-conquer-the-times-table-part-2/ [3]:
http://letsplaymath.net/2007/07/10/tens-concentration/ [4]:
http://letsplaymath.net/2008/11/24/contig-game-master-your-math-facts/

**Answer** by yelenam
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Mar 31, 2013 at 10:53 PM

A game of "Guess the number" works for my son, i.e. "I have a number in mind and if I add 5 to it, I get 9". Once he guesses, it's my turn to guess his secret number. I wasn't sure he'd like the game, but he does. We just started playing Battleships, so maybe I can give him hints as to where my ships are that are similar to the "guess the number" game and use number facts.

**Answer** by yelenam
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May 06, 2013 at 07:19 PM

We just picked up a 4-player version of Shut the Box game at a thrift store and it seems to be doing the trick. The game is called the 4-Way Countdown.

**Answer** by Lobr23
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Jul 31, 2013 at 12:25 AM

The following sites list fun math games, either online or "live" player:
http://letsplaymath.net/ and
http://www.homeschoolmath.net/online/ We play a derivative of the card game "War." Use a deck of cards for each player and remove the face cards. Instead of turning up one card, turn up two. The player with the highest sum (or I guess you could do it with multiplication too) wins that hand.

**Answer** by sherylmorris
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Jan 31, 2014 at 05:55 PM

See Google Images "Montessori Addition" and "Montessori Multiplication" for my answer.

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