The area model shown in this free math video is the perfect way to introduce multiplication to children. It is a clear, visual representation without the abstract symbols getting in the way. For some children (and adults!), it will literally feel like their eyes are being opened to what it all means. I wish I would have been taught this way as a child. I feel like I was taught how to navigate the world of numbers as though I was blind when someone could have just told me to open my eyes and SEE it! Using Cuisenaire Rods in addition to doing multiplication by forming rectangles will bring about clear understanding in children who otherwise would not get it.