Math Tricks for Kids

10 Mind-Blowing Math Tricks for Kids: Make Learning Fun and Easy

Are you tired of the same old math drills? Have you ever wished there was a more entertaining and engaging way to help your kids learn math? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of 10 mind-blowing math tricks for kids that will not only make learning fun, but also help them grasp key mathematical concepts. Let’s dive right in!

1. The 9 Times Table Finger Trick

The 9 times table can be a challenging one for kids to master. But with this super cool finger trick, they’ll be able to multiply by 9 in no time.

  1. Hold your hands out in front of you with your fingers spread out.
  2. To multiply a number by 9 (let’s say 4), bend the fourth finger down.
  3. Count the fingers to the left and right of the bent finger. In this case, there are 3 fingers on the left and 6 fingers on the right.
  4. VoilĂ ! The answer is 36.

Keep practicing this trick with other numbers, and soon your kids will be multiplying by 9 like a pro!

2. Quick Squares for Small Numbers

Squaring small numbers can be a breeze with this neat trick. To find the square of a number, follow these steps:

  1. Subtract the number from 10.
  2. Multiply the result by the original number.
  3. Add the square of the difference between the original number and 10 to the result.

For example, let’s find the square of 7:

  1. 10 – 7 = 3
  2. 7 * 3 = 21
  3. 21 + 3^2 = 21 + 9 = 30

And there you have it! The square of 7 is 49.

3. The Magic Number 11

Multiplying by 11 can seem daunting, but this trick makes it a piece of cake:

  1. For a two-digit number (e.g., 23), write the digits separately with a space in between: 2 _ 3
  2. Add the two digits together: 2 + 3 = 5
  3. Place the sum in the middle: 253

That’s it! 23 * 11 = 253.

4. The Birthday Paradox

The Birthday Paradox is a fascinating concept that can help kids understand probability. Here’s the question: In a group of 23 people, what are the odds that at least two of them share the same birthday?

Surprisingly, the answer is around 50%! This is because there are 365 days in a year, and with each new person added to the group, there are more chances for a shared birthday.

5. The Rule of 72

The Rule of 72 is a fantastic way to introduce kids to the world of finance and compound interest. This rule estimates how long it takes for an investment to double in value:

  1. Divide 72 by the annual interest rate (in percentage).
  2. The result is the approximate number of years needed for the investment to double.

For example, if the interest rate is 6%, it would take 72 / 6 = 12 years for the investment to double.

6. The Distributive Property with LEGO Bricks

Using LEGO bricks, you can teach kids the distributive property in a fun and interactive way.

  1. Choose a number (e.g., 5) and create two separate LEGO stacks representing the factors you want to multiply it by (e.g., 3 and 4 bricks).
  2. Combine the two stacks into one stack, maintaining their separate colors.
  3. Explain that multiplying 5 by the sum of the two stacks (3 + 4) is the same as multiplying 5 by each stack separately and then adding the results: 5 * (3 + 4) = 5 * 3 + 5 * 4.

7. The Handshake Problem

The Handshake Problem is a classic brain teaser that helps kids understand combinations. The question is: If everyone in a group shakes hands with everyone else exactly once, how many handshakes occur?

The solution is to use the formula n(n – 1) / 2, where n is the number of people in the group. For example, with 5 people, there would be 5(5 – 1) / 2 = 10 handshakes.

8. Speedy Addition with the Left-to-Right Method

Teach your kids to add large numbers faster by using the left-to-right method. Instead of adding numbers from right to left, as traditionally done, try adding them from left to right:

  1. 567
  2. +294

Start with the leftmost digits (5 + 2 = 7), then move to the next digits (6 + 9 = 15), and finally the rightmost digits (7 + 4 = 11). The answer is 7 | 15 | 11, which simplifies to 861.

9. The 24-Hour Clock Conversion

Help your kids master the 24-hour clock with this simple conversion trick:

  1. For hours greater than 12 (e.g., 16:00), subtract 12 to find the equivalent 12-hour time (4:00 PM).
  2. For hours less than or equal to 12 (e.g., 10:00), keep the same hour and add “AM” (10:00 AM).

10. Mathematical Card Tricks

Card tricks can be a great way to get kids excited about math. One classic trick is the 21 Card Trick:

  1. Have a volunteer pick a card from a deck of 21 cards.
  2. Lay out the cards in three rows of seven, face up.
  3. Ask the volunteer to point out which row their card is in.
  4. Pick up the cards in a specific order, making sure the row with the chosen card is in the middle.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 twice more.
  6. The chosen card will now be the 11th card from the top of the deck.

These 10 mind-blowing math tricks will not only make learning fun and engaging for kids, but also help them build a strong foundation in math. With these tricks in hand, they’ll be well on their way to becoming mathematical wizards!