My son's just turning 8 this year and has just started to learn some of the basics of multiplications, including multiplication signs.

However, he's started asking me why a negative multiplied by another negative would make a positive. It's quite hard to explain to a kid and I'm not quite sure how to put it. I've seen the other question regarding the same question but I fear the concepts within those answers are much too difficult for my son to wrap his head around.

What's the best way to explain to my kid why a negative × negative = positive? For reference, I'm looking for simple concepts to explain to a child to understand this. At this point he could care less about dot products, absolute values, multiplicative identities. He's just getting started with multiplication for crying out loud.

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    $\begingroup$ Related, almost dup: math.stackexchange.com/questions/9933/… The first two answers fit the bill. $\endgroup$
    – leonbloy
    Nov 9, 2015 at 0:20
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    $\begingroup$ @GEdgar I've tried explaining why it isn't a duplicate. The answers there simply don't fit the bill. Unless maybe I should start explaining exponentional equations to an 8 year old, and get started on the ti-89 for him as well. $\endgroup$
    – yuritsuki
    Nov 9, 2015 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ @venidividicivicini I agree it isn't a duplicate of either question, and were someone to start at this question with all its great answers with the intention of explaining to a kid and follow the duplicates, they'd arguably get less relevant results. What can you do though. $\endgroup$
    – miradulo
    Nov 9, 2015 at 22:58


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