I Spy – Multiplication


You can help your child to develop instant recall of multiplication facts.

What you need:

A pack of cards with the picture cards removed. Ace counts as 1; 40 cards in total.

What to do:

Deal out the cards in 10 rows of 4 or 5 rows of 8.

Players take turns to challenge the others. For example
I spy two cards that multiply to make 30

Players look for 2 cards next to each other, horizontally, vertically or diagonally, that multiply to give the number specified.

The player that finds the combination collects the 2 cards. If the combination of cards cannot be found, the player who posed the ‘I Spy’ question takes the two cards.

If the player made an error and there is no such combination of cards, nobody collects any cards and the next player takes their turn.

As cards are removed, the remaining cards are rearranged to fill in the spaces.

The winner is the player with the most cards once all the cards have been collected.


A simpler version is to use fewer cards: aces, twos, threes, fours and fives. This is a total of 20 cards that can be arranged in 4 rows of 5.

He Kupu Māori:

basic multiplication facts meka tāpiritanga matua
multiply whakarea
result, answer otinga

He Whakawhitinga Kōrero:

  • Whakatakotoria ngā kāri, mata kitea. Kia tekau ngā kapa o ngā kāri e whā, kia rima rānei nga kapa o ngā kāri e waru. (Lay the cards face up. Either 10 rows of 4 cards or 5 rows of 8 cards.)
  • Kei a au i te tuatahi. E titiro ana ahau ki ētahi kāri e rua e noho piri ana. Whakareatia aua kāri, ko te 30 te otinga. (I’m looking at two cards next to each other. Multiply those cards together and the answer is 30.)
  • Māu e kimi aku kāri. Kei whea rā? (You look for my cards. Where are they?)
  • Koia kei a koe! Tangohia aua kāri, ka pupuri ai ki a koe. (You’re the bomb!. Take the cards and keep them.)
  • Kāore e kitea e koe? Tēnā, kei a koe ināianei. Māu e kōwhiri ētahi kāri e rua e noho piri ana, ka kōrero mai ai i te otinga mēnā ka whakareatia aua kāri e rua. Māku e kimi. (You can’t find them. OK its your turn now. You choose two cards next to each other. Tell me what product is if you lultiply them together. I’ll look for them.)
  • Kei a wai te maha rawa atu o ngā kāri? Kei uta! Ko koe te toa! (Whose got the most cards? Awesome! You win!)

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