This simple game can be played with a standard deck of cards (face cards removed). I have lots of decks of cards that I have made. The deck we are playing with for this game is one I have had around for a long time. I am not sure where I got it. It has the numbers 0 to 10 which is perfect for Speed War.
After the deck is shuffled, the deck is divided into two equal piles. Players place their cards face down on the table. Both players turn over their top card at the same time. Players try to be the first to shout the answer to multiplying the two cards. The first to give the correct answer claims both cards.
Play continues until all the cards are claimed by one player...or, as we do with this deck as it is larger than most decks, until players have gone through their stacks one time.
Another note from the way we choose to play: If a player shouts out an incorrect product, he can not give another answer. So the second player can take as much time as he needs to think of the correct product.
Hint: I turn my card over first so the child can see it and think about what times table he is in. Then the child can turn his over. If he turns it toward himself which is the most natural way to turn a card, he gets to see it before I do and it gives him a fraction more time.
If the child I am playing with is slower at multiplication, I hesitate a couple seconds before I give an answer. I like the child to win about half the time. I want him to win enough to keep him encouraged, but not so much that he thinks he has multiplication mastered - I want him to know he has to keep working to get faster. As he gains in his speed, I decrease my hesitation.
Douglas loves this game. He loves time with me playing a game. He also loves the fast action of the game.