Ioan and Finny can count in tens, which is essentially the ten times table. But we haven’t recited the number sequence out loud as, “One ten is ten, two tens are twenty, three tens are thirty, four tens are forty”, etc.

In order to use their multiplication facts quickly in the future, they will need to know the facts out of sequence, without counting up.


Loose parts:

  • Nuts
  • Tangerines
  • Pine cones
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Shells
  • Marbles
  • Syringe adapters
  • Buttons
  • Pom poms
  • Crystal vase fillers
  • Glass vase fillers
  • Base ten set
  • Log slices with numbers written on


What is multiplication?

The basic idea of multiplication is repeated addition. You take one number and add it together a number of times. This is why multiplication is sometimes called “times“.

Example: 5 multiplied by 10 or 10 multiplied by 5.

5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 40. We took the number 5 and added it together 10 times.

10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 50. We took the number 10 and added it together 5 times.

The boys worked together to set out the multiplication facts for the 10 times table. Once they reached 50, with the numbers getting bigger, they decided to set their objects out in arrays, to help keep track of where they were up to. There is more information on using arrays in ‘Making Chocolate Arrays‘. Ioan used the marbles to work out 6 times 10.

Meanwhile, Finny worked out 8 times 10 using the syringe adapters. I intentionally asked them to do these out of order, so that they weren’t just counting up ten from the previous answer.

We love any activity that they can all join in at once.

While his brothers set out their multiplication facts, Cian enjoyed just lining up loose parts and sniffing the leaves and flowers.

Ioan calculated 8 times 10 using the crystal vase fillers.

Finny was in his happy place, working out 10 times 10. He loves working with numbers.

Cian enjoyed lining the pom poms up in columns of 10, counting as he went along. Ioan helped him check they had eleven columns for 11 times 10.

Cian likes to supervise his big brothers’ work. Here they were setting out 9 times 10.

Cian loves the base ten set, so when he was given the answer to 12 times 10, he knew how to set it out.

Their finished multiplication facts for the 10 times table.

Corresponding division facts

The next day, to consolidate Ioan’s learning, I printed out some of the pictures above. I wrote some of the multiplication facts below, leaving blanks for him to fill in. I put them in plastic wallets and he wrote with a whiteboard pen, so he could wipe it off easily and revisit it again in the future.

Once Ioan had completed the multiplication facts, I then wrote some division facts for him to fill in.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 2 programme of study

Number – multiplication and division

  • recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 10 times table