There are many ways you can help your children learn times tables, folding a tape measure is one of them.
In this post (and associated video) I use 3 × 5 = 15 as an example.
Tape Measure Folded In Fives
Here is a tape measure folded in fives, the folds are on 5, 10 and 15.
So 3 folds of size 5 get to 15.
The numbers run 1 to 5 left to right, 6 to 10 right to left and 11 to 15 left to right.
Tape Measure Folded In Threes
Here the folds are on 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15.
So 5 folds of size 3 also get to 15.
Snakes And Ladders
On a snakes and ladders board the numbers run from left to right and then right to left in alternate rows, just like the folded tape measure above.
Times Table Grid
At startingarithmetic.com/arithmetic/timesTables/timesTableGrid.html there is a times tables calculator grid which helps to explore times tables and can simulate the left to right, right to left “snake effect” seen when folding a tape measure.
The initial screen looks like this
Here is a video where I talk about tape measures, learning times tables and demonstrate this grid. Note the grid features in the second part of the video.
Notes On Using The Times Tables Grid
The key to understanding how to use the grid is the text on the buttons shows what happens
WHEN YOU CLICK THE BUTTON
So, if a button says “Snake On” it means the snake effect will be turned on when you click on the button. Which implies the snake effect is currently switched off.
The following table shows the text which may be shown on the different buttons.
This button always stays the same as there is only one option

The “Count to” button shows 3, 5 and 15 as 3 × 5 = 15 is being used in this example
and is the default when you visit the web page.
The text on the “Count to” button cycles through 3 possible options.
In this example it starts with
 Count to 3 (which means currently counting to 15).
 Count to 5
 Count to 15
You can type different numbers in the Rows and Cols boxes at the top left of the page, the grid will change when you
 press enter or tab
 or click the mouse outside the Rows or Cols box
Why not have a go, show your children and let me know how you got on.