Start of main content
Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • Maths

KS2 Times Table Cake Challenge

KS2 times tables are fun with this hands-on cake activity

Download our free activity sheet below and use real or paper cakes with counters to do this fun maths activity with your 7 to 9 year olds! 
Our lesson plan is mapped to the UK curricula and has all the notes to hand to guide you through the 45 minute resource as a classroom activity or at home. 

Activity: KS2 Times Table Cake Challenge

This visual and hands-on STEM activity will get your children thinking about combinations and KS2 times tables. This activity in partnership with MEI could be used in Key Stage 2 as a stand-alone activity, as a focused task to develop problem solving skills, or as a consolidation task related to 3x, 4x, 8x multiplication facts. In this activity, pupils will develop both their problem-solving and reasoning skills. They will also practice their mental recall of the 3x, 4x and 8x multiplication tables without the standard ‘fill out the multiplication table’.
In this activity 24 cakes will be put in a line on the table. The cakes need to be decorated using the following rules: every third cake will have white icing, every fourth cake will have blue sprinkles and every eighth cake will have red smarties. 
Are there any cakes that will have both decorations? Why do you think this?
Teachers can use the sentence starters on the PowerPoint slide to support any explanations if necessary. 
As an optional extension pupils could create their own set of rules for decorating the cakes. You could extend this further by giving them certain criteria their rules must meet such as the numbers 7, 16 and 27 must be decorated. 

Tools/resources required

For the introduction you will need:
  • 12 cakes
  • a bowl of white icing
  • a bowl of red smarties
  • a bowl of blue sprinkles.
For the independent investigation each group will need:
  • 24 cakes
  • a bowl of white icing
  • a spoon
  • a bowl of red smarties
  • a bowl of blue sprinkles
You could use a resource to represent the cakes and decorations such as circles and red, white and blue counters to represent the different decorations.
You might also want to use:
  • Digit cards 1-24
  • Mini Hundred squares

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this STEM challenge students will be able to reason mathematically by identifying and noticing the patterns created, conjecturing relationships between similarly decorated cakes and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language. 
Learners will also be able to solve cake problems by applying multiplication knowledge of 3x, 4x and 8x tables, breaking down the problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking a solution. 

Download the free KS2 Times Table Cake Challenge activity sheet below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs. 
The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 
Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation.

Related resources