These times table spinners have been designed to help kids practice, reinforce and learn their multiplication tables with a fun STEM twist.
Multiplication tables are one of those essential things that all kids are expected to learn by heart.
When I was in primary school we were made to recite the times tables like a class full of parrots – as you can imagine it was as boring as anything! Twenty years on (or is it thirty now?) I don’t remember them very well at all.
Why did I forget my times tables?
I’ll give you the fitting analogy that the mind itself is like a table. As we grow and learn we put stuff the table (knowledge, facts, random thoughts and life experiences). Soon the table is so chock full of stuff you can’t find anything on it, yet you still keep piling more and more things on your table.
With the table being so crowded things start falling over the edge never to be found again. Other things get squashed, damaged, lost and mixed up and you end up feeling confused most of the time. When you go looking for those times tables you put diligently on the table 30 years ago you have to sift through a mountain of rubbish to find them.
Am I making sense so far?
I’m far more likely to remember things if they’re attached to fun experiences. The picture of the fun experience on my mind’s table is far easier to find than just facts alone.
This is something I’ve noticed with my own girls too, and it’s the reason why I’m making an effort to make times table practice more fun for them. At age 9 and 10 their mind’s tables are still relatively clutter-free, but what happens in 5 years time when they need knowledge of their times tables to conquer more complex math problems in high school?
Will they be able to remember them?
How to make times table practice fun
Over the years we’ve developed a few ways to make times table practice a bit more interesting. So far we’ve come up with:
- Times table bookmarks – use the bookmark featuring the times table you are currently practicing and read through it once every time you open your book. My kids adore reading so this one’s been good for them.
- Times table mandalas – answer the times table questions on the bottom of the page by colouring the shapes containing that number in the mandala
- Multiplication madness – a roll the dice game where you collect a button for every correct answer whilst playing against the clock.
- Finally, today we are sharing these times table spinners
How to make a times table spinner
You will need:
- This printable template, available from both our shop and our TPT store
- Card stock – we’ve used light coloured stock so the numbers are easy to read
- Brad clip paper fasteners (split pins)
Print the template to light card stock for best results. Cut out the shapes.
Each piece on the template has a small dot in the exact centre. Poke a brad clip through this hole on each piece and attach them together. Place the numbers on the bottom, the piece with the notches on each side on top of the numbers and the large number on top.
Whilst I have simply poked the brad clip through the piece of card, you may find it easier to first poke a hole with a metal skewer (place it on top of a piece of thick recycled cardboard before poking). Alternatively cut a tiny slit with a craft knife first – note an adult must handle the knife for obvious reasons.
Now all that’s left to do is spin and learn!
Now make them all…
More STEM craft ideas for kids:
- Make a solar oven from a cardboard box and use it to bake crayons or chocolate and marshmallows
- Use straws and pipe cleaners to make a miniature working swing set for the toys
- Kids will love learning about the world’s amazing marine animals whilst making one of 14 ocean animal paper plate crafts
- Make a paper roll empathy doll which can smile, cry, get angry and feel scared using our printable template
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