7 Hands-On Games & Activities For A Fun Factors And Multiples Teaching Session

Elementary math has myriad concepts that must be taught to students in a way that they not only understand it but retain the information with them. One such elementary concept is factors and multiples. Regarded as one of the most important concepts with extensive real-life applications such as factoring money, understanding time, comparing prices, factors and multiples must be taught to students in a way that they hold onto the concept.

Now, as we all know, an easy and effective way to turn abstract math problems such as factors and multiples into understandable concepts is to engage children in games and activities that help them retrieve and apply the information taught to them through conventional learning.

Below is a list of games and activities that you can encourage your students or children to participate in when teaching them factors and multiples to make learning into a fun session.

Engaging games and activities for factors and multiples

1. Jump

This is a fun and simple activity that does not require any early-on preparations. Ask the participating students to stand in an open space area for this activity. The standing position should be maintained such that each student is at least an arms-length away from the other. 

Next, the person conducting the activity has to call out random numbers such as 12, 1, 17, 98, and the students will be required to decide if the number called out is a composite or prime number. If it is a prime number, the students should sit, and if the number is a composite number, they should stand up. 

Once you have called in a composite number and all the students are standing, choose a standing student and ask them the prime factorization of that composite number.

2. Sort It Out!

Sort It Out!

This activity can either be performed in groups of two or individually by the students. Students need to make 2 envelopes templates (or buy them) and ask students to fold and glue them to their notebooks. Out of 2 envelopes, one envelope will be for composite numbers and other one will be for prime numbers. Next, ask them to cut out squares with numbers and sort these numbers into the appropriate envelopes stuck to their notebook. The good idea is to have the students color the composite number squares with one color and the squares with prime numbers in another color. 

Once the students have sorted the envelopes a few times, they will easily be able to recognize the factors and multiples, including the prime numbers.

3. Circle of Primes

For this classroom activity, you will be required to provide index cards to each student participating in the game. The goal of arranging the cards is to lay them in such a way that they form a circle – in the circle; a composite number must face its prime factorization. 

Next, toss a stack of cards in the air, and instruct the students to grab one card from the stack. Once the student has collected the cards, the students must coordinate and work to form themselves in a circle. Again, the concept should be the same as a composite number followed by its prime factorization to form a circle. 

To help children sync in with the rules and make arrangements accordingly, ask the students to read out the composite numbers along with the prime factorization that is related to them around the circle. You can start asking the students to read out their numbers from any position in the circle. 

This activity is a great way of learning factors and multiples, mostly prime factorization, and it can also be a great way to help students develop teamwork since it is something that the activity relies on.

4. Lava Walk

This engaging and innovative classroom game requires index cards that have prime numbers imprinted on them and index cards with composite numbers. The cards with prime numbers should have prime numbers from 2 to 23. On the other hand, the composite number index cards should be made in a way that the composite numbers can be factored into the prime number cards that have been made previously. 

Next, in the middle of a playing field, distribute the cards indexed with prime numbers with their face up. Now, divide the class of students into groups of four or more. The students should stand on one side of the room and face the other side of the room. This is because the prime index cards will be present before them.

Now, each student should have a composite number card. The concept or the hook of the game is that every group has to send one member at a time to cross the lava river. Now, this imaginary river can only be crossed safely if the student jumps across a path that represents the prime factorization of the composite number they have gotten.

For example, if a student received the number 16 on his composite card, they would need to use four prime factor cards that will help them get across the lava river (or the playing field). The prime factor cards, in this instance, should be 2,2,2,2. 

Next, when one member has finished crossing the lava river, the other members of the team can follow behind using the same rule. The first group that gets all members across the lava river (or the playing field) without losing out wins the game.

5. Check-Uncheck


This is an activity that can be played both in classrooms and at home. Basically, check-uncheck requires the teacher or the parent to draw a chart with small boxes on it – there should be 100 boxes, each box with a number from 1-100. Next up, these boxes can be divided into two in a way such that student 1 has all the boxes from 1-50, and student 2 has boxes from 50-100. Now, the activity would be carried turn wise. In the first round, student 1 will encircle a random number, and student 2 will encircle all the multiple of that number starting from 50, which is their set. If they get all right, student 2 gets the point. In the next round, student 2 would encircle a number for which student 1 would have to mark all the factors. For example- student 2 marks 55, for this, student 1 can check 1,5 and 11, which are the factors of 55 in their set of numbers. Here too, if they get it right, they get the point.

This activity can also be conducted in teams. The goal is clear— the student or team with the maximum points wins it. 

6. Find The Odd One Out

We all have played this game as kids but now, this can be conducted as an activity to teach factors and multiples. Basically, the teacher would have to write a few numbers randomly on the board. Now, the students would have to guess which is the odd number from the lot. For example, if the teacher writes – 5, 25, 40, 90, and 92. The odd number here would be 92, as all others are multiples of 5, but 92 is not. This can be done for factors as well.

Find The Odd One Out

Here too, students can be divided into teams, and the activity can be carried out score-wise. To amp it up a bit, the teacher can keep a timer and can give bonus points to the team who is answering quicker. Finding the odd one out will enhance the student’s understanding of the concept of multiples and factors, and at the same time, it will develop analytical thinking skills in them, along with either interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. 

7. Rapid Fire

We all have indulged in a fun round of rapid-fire some or the other time in our lives! But have you ever thought of fun factors and multiples rapid fire? This activity can be played in groups or even individually. The teacher can randomly pick a student or a team, and they would be given 10 seconds to answer the question. For example, the teacher can choose group C and ask them, ‘tell me five multiples of 12.’ 

Apart from boosting knowledge about factors and multiples, the reflex of the students would be tested here. In activities like such, there is no place for rote learning; therefore, this one would make sure that students are really comprehending and retaining what they are learning theoretically. 

Factors and Multiples- Ascertaining notions in real life

Children while studying various subjects, often think about how the particular concept would be used practically. Selfsame is the case with factors and multiple. However, on the contrary, factors and multiples are one concept that can be applied in practical life too, once it is mastered theoretically. Here are a few examples of how this concept can be used in real-life. 

1. Divide something equally

Imagine there being 6 brownies and 12 kids; how will you divide them equally between each kid? This will obviously require a lot of factorization and multiplication. To calculate that each kid can get half a brownie would require you to be proficient in factorization.

2. Understanding time

Suppose you have to take a particular medicine every three hours. We already know that there are 24 hours in a day. Like this, you can calculate exactly at what time you would have to take the medicines and how many times you would have to consume the pills. This calculation also requires you to understand the concept of multiples and factors perfectly.

3. Traveling

While traveling, there can be times when you would have to calculate how much time you would reach a particular destination. For example, if your location is 500 Km away, and it generally takes an hour to cover 50 Km, by knowing the fundamentals of factors and multiples, you can easily calculate that it would take 10 hours for you to reach your destination.

4. Calculate Money

While shopping, it becomes imperative for you to shell out some change in exchange for the goods brought. Therefore, knowing that 4 quarters make up a dollar becomes essential. Moreover, if you have to give 100 $ to a shopkeeper, and you have only 20$ checks, you must apply the knowledge of factors and multiples to know that you have to give them 5 notes of 20$. 

How does these activities help in building the concepts?

1. Engage into practice

Let’s face it: Textbooks and endless pages of workbooks may not turn out to be as engaging as they sound. This is why using games and activities can be a more engaging way to put concepts into practice. These factors and multiples games and activities are a more innovative way of learning, using which the students can easily understand the concept of factors and multiples.

It goes without saying that math skills for any concept, be it simple or complicated, will not improve unless the student practices it diligently. Activities and games provide a fun and interesting way to engage in practice and strengthen the concept. 

2. Learn Important Skills

Like all other activities and games, these factors and multiple games teach students some important skills that last with them throughout their life. For example, when engaging in games and activities, children can learn how to develop efficient teamwork or learn healthy sportsmanship while also learning social skills by interacting with their peers. These skills that may be learned by the children when playing games and activities for learning can have a huge impact on their personality and may aid in personality development.

3. Boosts self-confidence in students 

Young children will feel like their voice is being heard when they are part of an interactive and inclusive activity. You can promote a culture and environment of interactive learning that is way more productive and fun when compared to traditional education methods. This will help you bond better with the child and boost important primary skills in them, such as enhanced communication and interpersonal skills, very early on. And because the learning process becomes a lot more enjoyable, the students are more likely to retain what they study and process it better. They will be able to apply the knowledge into practice in real-life situations.

4. Emphasizes the importance of the concept 

Children find it difficult to appreciate the concepts which they would not be able to put into use in real life. But, activities make the learning experience fun and engaging which helps the student to understand where the concept can be used in real-life situations.


Factors are the elements that make up multiplication equations. Students must grasp how to factor numbers and use multiples. Why? Because these elementary concepts build up to advanced level math problems in the future, and if the very foundation of the same is not clear to the students, they may perform poorly in advanced math later in their academic life.

Factorization can sometimes be a difficult idea for students to grasp because it is so abstract. These hands-on activities and classroom games can assist teachers in conveying this concept by making the abstract tangible and allowing students to apply what they have learned to real life.

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