Two times the fun
Last month my family was sat around the dinner table. The children were eating, slowly. My husband and I were twiddling our thumbs, as usual. Mister Eleven was animatedly telling his dad about our latest card game purchase and how he was going to kick his dad’s butt at it after dinner. My husband jokingly pointed out that he highly doubted that as the card game is based on practising the multiplication table and we only started learning it a week ago. So, in true home-ed-mum fashion, I quizzed them on their multiplication table (Mister Eleven and Miss Eight that is) ‘for practice’ and my husband looked at me as if I were some sorceress of dark magic. For one thing, they were both pretty darn quick and accurate at their multiplication table. For another, they kept saying weird things like, “That’s the elves and Miss Snowman, so six times eight is 48!”
Times Fables by Jessie Wilson £7.99
It wasn’t dark magic though. It was just a book I bought on a whim. Times Fables by Jessie Wilson has some great reviews on Amazon and it’s less than a tenner, so I thought, “What the heck?” Turns out a picture book is how I should have been teaching my kids maths facts all along! Miss Eight has a great memory for pictures and Mister Eleven has a great memory for rhyme and song. After one read through, they could recall a good number of their multiplication table facts already. After a week they were pretty solid on all of them.
Crew in a Stew by Little Profs £12.95
Every day for a week we played our new card game, Crew in a Stew. It’s almost entirely luck-based Crew in Stew, so there are no hard feelings if your child gets problems wrong while they’re learning the multiplication table. They can look up the correct answer on the table provided and just carry on. My children enjoyed putting on their pirate voices and shouting, “Walk the plank!” Mister Eleven dragged his homemade cutlass to the table every game for dramatic effect.
Mister Eleven did not kick his dad’s butt at Crew in Stew. Not that night anyway. His dad had all the conflict cards and no mercy. But that hasn’t stopped us from continuing to play it and having fun. This combo has been far and away the best maths investment I’ve ever made and the most fun too!