Syler is multiplying and "squaring" (is this a verb?) It all started with addition a few months ago: 2 cookies and 2 more cookies are 4 cookies. Now he's multiplying by twos, threes, fours and fives: "Eight twos are 16, and two eights are 16!" he exclaims at lunch one day. I ask, "How much is six fours?" He counts fours with his hands (1, 2, 3,) "4," (5, 6, 7,) "8" . . . "24!" he says triumphantly. "And four sixes?" I ask with a raised eyebrow and cheshire grin. He tilts his head, raises both brows, reflecting my grin: "24! That's a fun trick!"
He has a plate of cookies in front of him (yes, he has already finished his vegetables!). I put them into a square. "Two cookies 'squared' is four. Three cookies 'squared' is nine. How many is four cookies 'squared'?" We pull out lots of cookies and make a nice 4x4 square. "16!" Two eights, eight twos, and four fours. Cool. Why bother with the times tables when you have a table full of cookies at your disposal? Math - yum!