Teaching math through dance – knees up, arms out – learn multiplication tables dance now

Now, why must children sit down to learn the multiplication tables?

Allow them to get up, stretch, and dance! Teaching math through dancing inspires children to learn the multiplication tables quickly and effectively. They commit it to their long-term memory, and so, they remember it.

I am a firm believer that children should be encouraged to move around in the classroom or home. Life for adults and children has become increasingly sedentary. This is why it is so important to endeavor, as much as possible, to get children up, out and about for learning. Doing a multiplication dance is simple to organize and a great way to build confidence and get daily exercise.

teaching math through dance three girls dancing
Six times table dance!

More help and advice on learning the multiplication tables here.

1: Firstly, it engages the children in movements and exercises. It allows them to have fun whilst learning.

2: Dancing has positive outcomes. The children are not only exercising but also manipulating the multiplication tables as they dance.

3: Dancing makes the children more confident with the times tables and makes them feel that they do not need to just sit at a desk whilst learning the multiplication tables.

More examples of teaching math through dance:

1: The children can dance and make the shape of a number in the air. They can dance and freeze in the shape of a number. For example, you could call out ‘3 x 3’. The children would have to make the number 9 in the air whilst doing a dance movement.

This is also great even if they do not know the answer -they could look around the room and see what other children are doing. Remember that children do learn from each other.

2:  You could also put students into groups of two, three, or five depending on how many children you have. They can then do dance movements where they meet up with another group and count how many are in the joined group altogether.

They could dance their way over to two other people and then dance their way over to another two people and now we have 6. The children would then be learning multiples of the 2 times table, which are 2, 4, 6, 8, and so on.

More ideas!

3:The BBC has this song and movement routine which, encourages physical activity and learning the times tables in the classroom, while giving students the chance to learn something new or recap a previously covered topic.

4: The children could skip around the room in a dance movement skipping and counting in multiples of 2, 4, 6, 8… for example, or whichever times tables you are learning.

What about a robot dance? The children can use their body to dance like a robot and make numbers!

5: The children can use their legs and arms to count out in multiples. They could also use their legs and arms to make shapes.  For example, they could make a shape using their toes on the floor, or they can use their hands and make a shape in the air. You could ask them to make a shape of, for example; 8 times 8 equals 64.

You could state that they must make the 8 x 8 with their hands and they must make the 64 with a dance movement with both of their legs, one leg after the other. This can be led by a teacher or a pupil.

6: Also, you could find a multiplication tables song on YouTube, perhaps a six times table song! My favourite one is the 6 times tables – Taylor Swift. You could then just get the children to dance along to the song and sing along with the song. A considerably basic activity but amazingly effective.

You could add additional activities too, e.g. pause the song and they must freeze and repeat the times table that was just said or the number that was just said. There are just so many wonderful ways to work with this.

Finally, teaching math through dance is great for all age groups, but it will certainly benefit teaching the times tables to children.


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