A couple of summers ago my niece was struggling to learn her multiplication tables and despising every minute of it. Mr. O’Kitten and I came up with this really easy, fast-paced card game that’s fun for kids and not-so-simple for those of us who don’t necessarily remember our multiplication tables that well. (In other words, your kids may gleefully beat you, so be forewarned.)
All you need is a deck of cards. Crazy Multi can be played with 2 or more players. It really is fun and kind of addictive.
Aces are ones, and the pip cards are 2 through 10 as marked. Jacks are 11, queens are 12, and we played with the kings as zeroes (0) just to make it more challenging.
You can always pull out the face cards if your kids (or you!) aren’t up to those numbers yet. As an example, in this photo we have 3, 11, 0, and 1.
Place the full deck of shuffled cards face down between the 2 players. Each player draws a card, and at the same time, turns their card over and throws it face up in the middle.
Whoever multiplies the two cards correctly first gets to keep the two cards. If you answer incorrectly, you forfeit that turn, and the other player(s) have a chance to answer.
If no one answers correctly, turn those two cards over and leave them in the center. Throw two more cards face up into the center, multiply, and the winner of that hand gets to keep the cards from the last hand as well.
When the deck has been completely exhausted, whoever has the most cards wins.
Watch out — If you use the kings for zeroes it’s really tricky!
Variations: “Easy Multi” -- Play with fewer cards (say, aces (1s) through fours for smaller children.
“Crazy Addie” -- Play by adding the thrown cards instead of multiplying.