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What is a multiplication chart? And how to use one (plus FREE printable multiplication charts available)

What is a multiplication chart? (And how to use one).

Multiplication charts. They’re a super handy math tool for children learning their times tables. But what are they and how do they work?

Want to know what a multiplication chart is, how to use one, or indeed why this math tool is even useful?

Then you’re in luck.

Because today’s post is all about multiplication charts.

Plus, subscribers to our email list can download their own pdf version of our colourful printable multiplication charts (you can sign up at the end of this post).

So, without further ado, let’s get cracking.

What is a multiplication chart?

A multiplication chart (sometimes also known as a times table chart, multiplication table, or multiplication grid) is a great tool for any child trying to learn their multiplication facts.

It shows times tables in grid form like so:

multiplication chart for 1 to 10

The multiplication chart above shows all multiplication tables/times tables from 1s to 10s.

You can see (in the yellow boxes) that the numbers 1 to 10 run horizontally along the top row of the chart and they also run down the column furthest to the left as well.

You can see from the pictures below that on a multiplication chart, each times table runs both horizontally…

multiplication grid showing times tables horizontally

…and vertically:

multiplication table showing times tables vertically

Now while the above chart shows times tables from 1s up to 10s, some multiplication charts may show time tables up to 12s. In theory multiplication charts can have limitless times tables (although if there are too many it may be hard to fit them all on one piece of paper…)

The brilliant thing about a multiplication chart is that you can use it to quickly find the product of two numbers.

This is really helpful when a child is learning or revising their multiplication facts.

Let’s take a look.

How do you use a multiplication chart?

It’s really easy to find the product of two numbers using this chart.

The best way to explain this is to use an example.

So, let’s say we want to know what 5 x 4 is.

To find 5 x 4, we must find the row that shows the 4 times tables and the column that shows the 5 times table. Then we look for the box where the they overlap:

multiplicaiton table showig that 20 is the product of 4 and 6

As you can see here, the 5 row and 4 column overlap here at the number 20.

So the chart tells us that 5 x 4 = 20 (which is correct – yay!).

Another example?

Let’s take another example, say 9 x 6.

First locate the row with all the multiples of 9. Next find the column with the multiples of 6.

chart showing 9 x 6

Follow both rows along until they meet. The box where they overlap will tell you the product of 9 and 6. And that’s 54. Check!

Related post: Tips and tricks for learning the 9 times table

Does the order matter?

Now the great thing about multiplication is that the order of the two number you are multiplying doesn’t matter.

For example 9 x 6 is equal to 6 x 9. Or 2 x 8 is equal to 8 x 2.

This is called the commutative property of multiplication. It means that the product of numbers will be the same, whichever order they are multiplied in.

And we can see this on the multiplication chart.

Let’s look back at our 9 x 6 example.

You can see by looking at the chart below that it doesn’t matter whether you take the row of 6s and the column of 9s or the row of 9s and the column of 6s. You still get the answer 54:

multiplication table showing 6 x 9 and 9 x 6

Clever, eh?

In fact, if you look closely, you’ll see that the chart can be divided into two halves with a diagonal line from the multiplication sign down to the bottom corner with the number 100.

multiplication grid showing square numbers

The numbers in the bottom part of the chart are reflected in the top part. And whether you use the top part to find the product of two numbers or the bottom part of the chart, the answer will be the same.

Related: ‘Be a multiplication star!’ – Bumper pack of math worksheets for serious multiplication facts practice

Why is a multiplication chart helpful?

A multiplication chart is really useful for a number of reasons:

1. It’s a handy reference tool

A multiplication chart is so valuable because it shows all the times tables clearly in just one grid.

Let’s face it, trying to learn all the multiplication facts up to 10 x 10 is a daunting task when you’re first starting. A multiplication chart is a handy reference tool for children who need to learn and memorize their multiplication facts.

A multiplication grid like this can also be really helpful in situation when a child needs to work out multiplication facts in order to practise a different math skill.

For example, a child who’s working on finding areas of rectangles would find it difficult if they didn’t know their times tables (you have to multiply the width by the length to find the area). Being able to use a multiplication grid as a reference means that child can still be successful at finding the area of rectangle even though they’re not yet able to recall their multiplication facts with confidence.

2. It’s great for times table practice

A blank multiplication grid or chart is an effective way to practise times tables. By filling in the chart, a child is practising every single multiplication fact from 1 x 1 up to 10 x 10 (or 12 x 12 or more, depending on the chart). Good practice, I think you’ll agree.

Being able to recall multiplication facts quickly and accurately is so important for children when learning math. Times tables crop up in so many areas of math. Plus being able to recall multiplication facts easily also comes in useful in everyday life.

If your child wants to practise times tables with an empty multiplication grid, you can download both a completed and empty multiplication chart printable at the end of this post.

Related post: Which times tables should you learn first?

3. Good for spotting multiplication patterns

A multiplication chart is a good way to spot patterns, both in the chart itself and within each individual times table.

For example, let’s look at square numbers. A square number is the product of a number multiplied by itself. For example 25 is a square number because it’s equal to 5 x 5. In the chart, square numbers form a straight diagonal line across the chart like so:

Square numbers

Also, organized clearly in rows, you can spot patterns within each individual times table. For example, in the 10 times table you can see that the digit in the ones place is always a 0. Or, when looking at the 9 times table, the digit in the ones place decreases by 1 as the multiples of 9 get bigger.

Get your own set of printable multiplication charts.

Our multiplication charts come in pdf format in both black/white and rainbow colours for both 1-10 and 1-12.

You can print and use for personal use at home or in the classroom (no commercial use permitted).

And the good news? They’re free for subscribers! Sign up using the box below:

Need more multiplication resources?

We have lots of multiplication resources over in the Math, Kids and Chaos online store.

Just starting to introduce the concept of multiplication? Read our post about multiplication arrays and then check out our real life array task cards.

For a fun, summery multiplication activity, read all about our summer multiplication worksheets.

For multiplication facts, division facts and colouring, check out our dinosaur colour-by-number activity pages.

And finally, for those children who know all their math facts upside down and inside out, there’s our ‘Be A Multiplication Star!’ bumper worksheet pack. Covering all multiplication tables in depth, this activity pack has word problems, missing number activities, true/false questions and so much more. Great for those children who like a challenge.

Real life multiplication arrays product cover
'Be a multiplication star' product cover

Thanks for reading today’s post about times tables and multiplication charts. Happy multiplying!

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what is a multiplication chart

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