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Math made easy: 14 useful math hacks for kids

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Yes, computing and problem-solving can be quicker, easier and more enjoyable with these useful math hacks for kids.

Dscuseful Math hacks for kids

Analyn Sanger, an abacus teacher by profession and a mom to twin boys, believes parents can make math more fun and engaging to little learners by incorporating the subject in everyday life.

“Practical application is key, like letting the kids compute the bill in the restaurant and at the shops.  When we’re stuck in traffic, I quiz my sons about plate numbers – I name the plate numbers and they have to find the car and tell me its brand and color. I also let them add or subtract [numbers] based on plate numbers” she says.

useful Math hacks for kids

Teaching children simple math hacks – or clever solutions to tricky problems – is a commendable move and will go a long way as well.  Says Sanger, “The best and simplest math hack is to sing the numbers away!  From teaching how to write the numbers to singing the multiplication table and formulas.  The internet has tons of useful sources.”

Besides learning arithmetic through songs, here are fourteen other useful Math hacks for kids that even adults will be thankful for.  Grade schoolers learning their times tables and getting the hang of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) will benefit from these tips, while older kids, high schoolers and adults will be able to relate more to the solutions that involve money, plus multiple and huge numbers.  Make sure to practice and apply these as often as possible for optimum results.

Have fun counting and computing!

1. Subtracting from numbers with multiple zeroes (powers of 10)

Technique:  Subtract all digits of a number except the rightmost one from 9; subtract the ones digit from 10.

Examples:
1,000 – 786
Subtract 7 from 9 = 2
Subtract 8 from 9 = 1
Subtract 6 from 10 = 4
Answer: 214

10,000 – 6249
Subtract 6 from 9 = 3
Subtract 2 from 9 = 7
Subtract 4 from 9 = 5
Subtract 9 from 10 = 1
Answer: 3751

Click here to watch the demo.

2. Using fingers to multiply

useful Math hacks for kids

If your child finds it difficult to memorize the entire multiplication table, he can stop at 5 x 5 and just use his fingers to multiply from 6 to 10.

Technique:  Assign one factor per hand.  Each hand may have raised fingers and closed fingers.  To know how many fingers to raise, subtract 5 from each factor.  The sum of the raised fingers in both hands is the number of tens.  The product of the closed fingers is the number of ones.

Example:  7 x 9
For 7, use your left hand and raise 2 fingers (7 – 5 = 2).  There will be 3 closed fingers.
For 9, use the right hand and raise 4 fingers (9 – 5 = 4).  There will be 1 closed finger.
Add the raised fingers: 2 + 4 = 6.  This means 6 tens or 60.
Multiply the closed fingers: 3 x 1 = 3.  This means 3 ones.
60 + 3 = 63.

Click here for more tips on finger multiplication.

3. Multiplying by  5

Technique 1:  Multiply by 10 and then divide by 2.
Examples:
68 x 5 can also be 68 x 10 = 680, 680 ÷ 2 = 340

Technique 2:  When multiplying 5 with an even number, halve the number and place a zero after it.
Examples:
5 x 48 becomes 48 ÷ 2 = 24.  Put a zero after the number to get the answer: 240
5 x 222 becomes 222 ÷ 2 = 111. Put a zero after the number to get 1110

Technique 3:  When multiplying 5 with an odd number, subtract 1 from the odd number, halve your answer and then place  a 5 after it.
Examples:
5 x 13 becomes (13 - 1) ÷ 2
12 ÷ 2 = 6.  Place a 5 after the number to get your answer: 65

5 x 117 becomes (117 -1) ÷ 2
116 ÷ 2 = 58. Put a 5 after the number.  Answer is 585

4. Multiplying by 9

Technique:  Multiply by 10 and then subtract the original number.
Examples:
72 x 9 becomes 72 x 10 = 720
720 – 72 = 648

351 x 9  becomes  351 x 10 = 3510
3510 – 351 = 3159

When the factor is 99, multiply by 100 and then subtract the original number.
When the factor is 999, multiply by 1000 and then subtract the original number.

Click Next page for more math hacks for kids. 

K-12 Math School