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Brick Playbook: Parent Edition

Bricks… They’re Multiplyin’

Explore the basics of multiplication and the communiative property with bricks.

Child will understand the commutative property of multiplication.

Essential Question(s):
How does multiplication work? Is there a direction, or can it be flipped around?

Special Materials:
Paper and pencil for recording data

Bricks Required:
16×16 plates, 2×2 or 1×1 bricks

Project Structure


  1. Distribute one 16×16 plate and 24 2×2 or 1×1 bricks.
  2. Ask child to lay out a row of 4 bricks on the plate, then add 2 more equal rows.
  3. Have child create a multiplication sentence based on their brick outlay.
  4. Child then rotates their plates 90 degrees. Ask them to create a new multiplication sentence based on the new orientation.
  5. Ask child to solve both multiplication sentences on a sheet of paper.


  1. Ask child: if they were to do the problems backwards, would they get the same answers?
  2. Why or why not?
  3. Child should test their reasoning on a few problems and explain (commutative property).
  4. Ask the child to lay out 1 more row of bricks (at this point it should be