All your young children need to memorize their math, but flashcards can be so boring! Introducing fun games using cards and dice help make this task more fun for everyone (including you!) and Multiplication Circle is no exception.

It's a fun and easy game that is played to reinforce something we call math facts. If you haven't heard the term "math fact" before, it means any mathematical number your children can instantly recall without needing their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division strategies to figure them out. Once your kids start knowing their math facts, it means they've begun to memorize their math.

In Multiplication Circle, multiplication for Grades 3 and up will be put to the test. (Addition is also reinforced while the players keep score.) Multiplication Circle can be played as cooperative or competitive game — choose whichever option works best for you and your children.

**What You'll Need**

- Deck of cards (remove the face cards; ace = 1)
- Paper & pencil
- Timer
- Calculator (optional for adding up scores)

*# of Players:* 1+

*Grades: *3+

*Object of the game:* To be the player with the most points after 10 rounds!

**How to Play Multiplication Circle**

Step 1: Shuffle the deck of cards. (Remember: remove the face cards and the ace = 1.) Place the cards facedown making a large circle (as big as you can). Then place more cards facedown inside the circle making a smaller circle. Continue this until you’ve made as many circles as possible (the end result should look like a bullseye).

Step 2: Each player is given a piece of paper and pencil to keep score for each round. Set a timer for 2-4 minutes. The timer starts when Player 1 is ready.

Step 3: Player 1 picks up two cards from the largest circle (any two cards she wants). Player 1 multiplies the two cards and says the answer out loud (so all players can hear). Then she writes her answer on her paper. Player 1 discards the two cards in a discard pile. If the timer hasn't gone off yet, Player 1 keeps picking up two cards at a time, multiplying them, saying her answer out loud, and noting it on her score sheet. Once the timer goes off, Player 1's turn is over.

Step 4: Set the timer again, and Player 2 chooses his two cards, multipies them, and says his answer out loud. Then he writes the answer on his score sheet. His play continues until the timer rings, ending his turn.

Step 5: Time for Player 3 to go, following the same steps (or back to Player 1 depending on how many people are playing the game). The play continues, with cards taken from the outer most circle in, until the timer goes off indicating Player 3's turn is over.

Step 6: Round 1 ends when all Players have each had a chance to play. Each player adds up all of their answers to find their total score for the round.

Step 7: Get ready for round 2 by gathering and shuffling all the cards and setting up the multiplication circles again.

Step 8: Play continues for five rounds. After five rounds, whichever player has the highest score at the end wins!

NOTE: If you happen to run out of cards before a round ends, just shuffle the discard pile, set up the circles again, and continue play.

**Variations**

- If the timer is too much stress, take it out. When your children gets faster at their facts, you can add the timing element back in. Just have each player take two cards to multiply per turn.
- For children who are ready, you can use all the face cards with these values (ace = 1, jack = 11, queen = 12, king = 0).
- Make the face cards wild. Players can choose any value for them.
- If the game is taking too long, you can play fewer rounds.
- If you want the game to keep going, play with more rounds.
- Create a target score and whichever player reaches that score first wins!

*Featured image: © mike mols/Thinkstock*