Beginning Multiplication Facts (0’s, 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s)

by Laurie Laurendeau on May 15, 2012

If your child is just beginning to learn his multiplication facts, he will hopefully not be introduced to all the facts at once.  This can be very overwhelming to a child, so you will want to break the facts up into parts.  Many programs teach the facts in order, i.e. they cover the 0’s, followed by the 1’s, then the 2’s, and so on to the 10’s or sometimes to the 12’s.  While this method can work, many teachers find it easier to teach the 0’s, 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s to begin with.

By the time children are ready to start multiplication facts, they should already know how to skip count by 10’s, 5’s and 2’s.  This will help them “figure out” the x10, x5, and x2 facts more easily.  For example, if your child can count by 10’s, and he sees the fact “10 x 4”, he can count by 10, 4 times (10, 20, 30, 40) to figure out the answer.

You can either purchase multiplication flashcards, or you can make simple flashcards by cutting an index card in half, punching a hole in the top left corner, and putting a metal ring through the holes.  Write each of the following facts on a separate card:

0x0, 0x1, 0x2, 0x3, 0x4, 0x5, 0x6, 0x7, 0x8 ,0x9, 0x10

1×0, 1×1, 1×2, 1×3, 1×4, 1×5, 1×6, 1×7, 1×8, 1×9, 1×10

2×0, 2×1, 2×2, 2×3, 2×4, 2×5, 2×6, 2×7, 2×8, 2×9, 2×10

5×0, 5×1, 5×2, 5×3, 5×4, 5×5, 5×6, 5×7, 5×8, 5×9, 5×10

10×0, 10×1, 10×2, 10×3, 10×4, 10×5, 10×6, 10×7, 10×8, 10×9, 10×10

  • Begin with the 0’s.  Explain to your child that any number multiplied by 0 = 0.  Show him why this is true by giving him the fact 0 x 4.  Tell him this means you have the number “0”, 4 times = 0.  Or, you have the number “4”, 0 times = 0.
  • Next, teach the 1’s.  Show your child that when you multiply any number by 1, the answer is itself.  For example, 7 x 1 means the number “7”, one time, or the number “1”, 7 times.  Draw pictures to show him.
  • Next, introduce the 2’s.  Don’t worry if your child has not yet mastered skip counting by 2’s; he can rely on his knowledge of his “Doubles” facts of addition for the 2’s.  For example, 6×2 is the same as the addition Doubles fact of 6+6.  Same goes for 9×2 (9+9) and so on. Show your child how the addition doubles facts relate to the multiplication 2’s.  Draw a picture of 2 groups of 6 squares.  Tell your child that this can represent the addition fact “6+6”, or it can represent “6×2”.
  • Next, introduce the 10’s.  This is usually the easiest number for children to skip count, which is why I like to do it next.
  • Finally, teach the 5’s.  Be sure to review skip counting by 5’s before introducing the facts.

It’s OK if your child is counting to get the answer to these multiplication facts at this stage.  This is an important part of the process, as it teaches them the meaning of the multiplication facts, as well as their relationship with the corresponding addition facts.  As you practice using flashcards and other online games, your child will be able to recall the facts with more automacity.


  • As always, playing math games at home is a great way to reinforce math skills learned in school.
  • Have questions or ideas about this story?
  • Need help or advice about your child’s learning?
  • Have ideas for future Parent Homework Help stories?

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