For those of you that are beginning multiplication lessons with your child, prepare for frustration. It seems like they just mastered addition and subtraction not that long ago. Build upon their addition skills by explaining to your child that multiplying is a simple way of adding the same group of numbers over and over again. This is called "Repeat Addition".
For example, say you have four groups of cupcakes as pictured below.
To find the total number of cupcakes, you could add the total cupcakes like this:
2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8
Practice this concept by downloading the multiplication worksheet below and cutting apart the pictures. Allow the student to lay out several different combinations and then count aloud together the number of cupcakes.
Download the second worksheet and, using the cutouts from the first worksheet, have the child fill in the correct number for each equation.
Once the child is comfortable with adding GROUPS of images, tell her that she can also picture the same way by using the "x" sign:
4 X 2 = 8
Explain that using the "x" sign means "times" and it shows that it is a multiplication problem. Point out that you can also write the problem like this:
Download the worksheet below and have the child draw lines from the left multiplication problem to the same multiplication problem on the right.