Multiplication With Bead Bars

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Multiplication With Bead Bars
Math - Memory Work
Mult with Bead Bars 8.JPG

This activity helps to teach the child multiplication facts.


  1. Carry the material to a large mat. Place the box of bead bars in the upper right corner.
    Mult with Bead Bars 1.JPG
  2. For the first set of problems choose multiplication by 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, or 9. (We've used 7 here.) Take out one 7 bar and lay it horizontally as shown. Say, "This is seven one time. Seven times one."
    Mult with Bead Bars 2.JPG
  3. Use the pointer to count the beads.
    Mult with Bead Bars 3.JPG
  4. Lay the answer vertically beneath the first bead bar.
    Mult with Bead Bars 4.JPG
  5. Take out two 7 bars and lay them as shown. Say, "This is seven two times. Seven times two." Use the pointer to count until you reach ten. Leave the pointer in place.
    Mult with Bead Bars 5.JPG
  6. Take a ten bar from the box and lay it as shown. Continue counting the rest of the beads starting over from one to see how many beads are remaining.
    Mult with Bead Bars 6.JPG
  7. step seven
    Mult with Bead Bars 7.JPG
  8. step eight
    Mult with Bead Bars 8.JPG
  9. step nine
    Mult with Bead Bars 9.JPG
  10. Put all the beads back in the box. Repeat the process with another number.
    Mult with Bead Bars 10.JPG
  11. When doing multiplication of tens there won't be enough bead bars in the set to do all the problems. Do the first few and then reuse the bead bars for the next few. Allow the child to discover on her own the pattern in multiplication by ten.
    Mult with Bead Bars 11.JPG

Points of Interest

Control of Error

Variations and Extensions


Mult with Bead Bars Material.JPG

Make Your Own

Not counting the cost of wire or a box, you would need to find beads for less than 2¢ a piece to be a better deal than the lowest cost pre-made option.
To make a set with 55 of each bead bar you will need a total of 3025 beads (55 red, 110 green, 165 peach, 220 yellow, 275 turquoise, 330 lavender, 385 white, 440 brown, 495 dark blue, and 550 gold). I've included the approximate price per bead for each: (¢).

6mm Faceted Round Plastic Beads

6mm Smooth Round Plastic Beads

  • Jann's Netcraft (pick colors) $6.99/1000 (0.699¢)
  • Mud Hole (pick colors) $1.87/100 (1.87¢)
  • Shipwreck Beads (color mix) $2.25/500 (0.45¢), $3.00/1000 (0.3¢), $11.00/4500 (0.24¢), $30.00/13,500 (0.22¢)
  • Shipwreck Beads (pick colors) $2.89-$3.15/126 (2.29¢-2.5¢), $8.35-$9.25/504 (1.65¢-1.83¢), $13.47-$14.75/1008 (1.34¢-1.46¢), $38.30-$42.55/3024 (1.26¢-1.41¢)
  • Shipwreck Beads (pick colors) $3.39/200 (1.695¢), $7.95/600 (1.325¢), $9.95/1000 (0.995¢)

Where to Buy

Prices and links checked: 23 January 2022
(Amazon/Bookshop are affiliate links, which help cover costs of running the site.)

Decanomial Bead Bar Box (55 of each)
Store Price
Adena $108.88
Affordable Montessori $130.00
Alison's $104.73
Bruins $312.00
E & O $175.50
IFIT $115.00
Kid Advance $115.99
Leader Joy $118.95
Montessori Outlet $123.95
nylon beads
glass beads
Thinkamajigs $139.95
Wintergreen $539.95
nylon beads
quantity unclear
Multiplication Bead Bar Layout Box (different number of each)
Store Price
100 ten bars
nylon beads
glass beads
glass beads
nylon beads
Checkerboard Bead Bar Box (20 of each bar)
Store Price
Adena $38.92
Albanesi $182.00
Alison's $71.66
Bruins $140.00
E & O $84.60
IFIT $37.00
Kid Advance $43.99
Leader Joy $45.95
Montessori Outlet $47.95
nylon beads
glass beads
Thinkamajigs $52.95
glass bead
nylon beads
Wintergreen $47.95
10 of each bead bar (no 10 bars)
Store Price
Affordable Montessori
has ten bars
Alison's $36.75
Bruins $104.00
IFIT $37.00
IFIT $24.00
nylon beads
glass beads

Further Reading