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Five Activity to Help Your Child Learn Skip Counting

Updated on July 10, 2013

When discussing our educational goals for the coming year my daughter told me that she would like to learn her skip counting. We had already introduced her to skip counting by 2s, 5s and 10s. However, she had a friend who could skip count by all the numbers 1 through 15. So I needed some lessons to accommodate my daughter’s goal for the coming year. I hope you find my plans helpful for your own students.

1. Skip Counting Songs

Singing can be a great aid to memory work. Classical Conversations sells audio CDs with skip counting songs for the numbers 1 through 15, as well as the squares and cubes. Each songs counts 12 times. (Any of the cycles will include these songs.) These songs are great for singing in the car, as you’re doing chores or any other time your hands are busy with other things.

Have Fun Teaching also has a number of skip counting songs for the numbers 1 through 12. These songs are posted on YouTube so you can use them for free. The songs are particularly good for dancing and are ideal for in between lessons to help get the wiggles out.

  • The 1s go up to 50
  • The 2s go up to 50 and then from 2 to 100
  • The 3s go up to 30 and then from 3 to 99
  • The 4s go up to 20, then from 4 to 40 and finally from 4 to 100
  • The 5s go up to 100
  • The 6s go up to 30, then from 6 to 60 and finally from 6 to 90
  • The 7s go up to 98
  • The 8s go up to 40 and then from 8 to 80
  • The 9s go up to 90
  • The 10s go up to 100
  • The 11s go up to 99
  • The 12s go up to 96

2. Create Skip Counting Placemats or Skip Counting Arts & Crafts

As your child begins to learn the songs you can let her practice will keeping her hands busy with a corresponding arts and crafts project. Upon completion this project will also provide a good visual reminder of the skip counting sequence. If you laminate the project before your child writes in the numbers it can be used again and again.

Provide a number of pictures that represents whichever number you are counting by, scissors, glue and a mat labeled with the appropriate question. Have your child cut out the pictures and glue them to the mat. If you are laminating do so now. Otherwise have your child write the numbers under (or on) each picture.

  • For counting by 2s ask, “How many feet?” Provide pictures of two legged animals like ducks or flamingos.
  • For counting by 3s ask, “How many leaves?” Provide pictures of clovers or other three leafed plants.
  • For counting by 4s ask, “How many legs?” Provide pictures of four legged animals like horses or giraffes.
  • For counting by 5s ask, “How many fingers?” Provide pictures of open hands.
  • For counting by 6s ask, “How many legs?” Provide pictures of insects like butterflies or ladybugs.
  • For counting by 7s ask, “How many days?” Provide pictures of weekly calendars.
  • For counting by 8s ask, “How many legs?” or “How many slices?” Provide pictures of spiders or pizzas or pies (sliced into eighths).
  • For counting by 9s ask, “How many lives?” Provide pictures of cats, either house cats or wild cats like jaguars or leopards.
  • For counting by 10s ask “How many toes?” Provide pictures of pairs of bare feet.

3. Skip Counting Worksheets

Worksheets are a good way to fill extra lesson time. You can either make your own or use some of those provided online. Skip counting worksheets typically come in two types either fill in the blank or mazes.

The fill in the blank variety can also be found online with a timer. These are good for building speed and providing immediate feedback when you need to be busy with something else. This type of worksheet is also simple to manufacture yourself.

Skip counting mazes are a block of numbers in which one line of numbers skip counts by whatever number you are practicing from the start to the finish. These are good for beginning skip counting practice but take a little more effort to create.

4. Skip Counting Computer Games

There is a fun fruit shooting game for practicing skip counting by numbers 2 through 10. The game provides a relaxed mode, which provides 10 untimed questions, or a timed mode, which provides a minute to answer as many questions as possible.

When your child plays the game a short number line is shown blow a targeting circle with one number missing. A number of pieces of fruit with different numbers from the number line float across the screen. To answer the problem your child needs to “shoot” the correct piece of fruit. Because there are no numbers outside of the number line and because it uses such short number lines, this is a good game for early skip counting practice or as a way to increase speed.

Internet 4 Classrooms also provides links to a number of skip counting games. The games range from 1s through 5s, 10s and multiples. The links are arranged by skip counting number.

5. Skip Counting Hopscotch or Large Motor Skip Counting

If you have a child who is a kinetic learner or you are looking for a lesson that will burn off a little of your student’s energy this activity is a good way to engage those large motor skills. Create
a hopscotch grid outside using sidewalk chalk or inside using painters’ tape. (Painters’ tape is made to be removed and will therefore come up more easily when you are finished with the activity.) Fill the grid with the skip counting numbers you are currently studying and begin skipping.

If your child gets bored with skipping you could also try waddling like a duck, galloping like a horse, crawling like an insect or creeping like a spider. This works particularly well if you’ve done the placemat activity and correspond your movement with the number you are studying (i.e. waddling for 2s and galloping for 4s).

If your child likes this activity try having them “blow in the breeze” for 3s, walk her hands up the grid for fives, pounce like a cat for nines and go barefooted for 10s. (Sorry I don’t know of any movements to correspond with calendars.)

I hope these activities help your students with their skip counting as much as they help my daughter.

Counting by Ones

Skip Counting by Twos

Skip Counting by Threes

Skip Counting by Fours

Skip Counting by Fives

Skip Counting by Sixes

Skip Counting by Sevens

Skip Counting by Eights

Skip Counting by Nines

Skip Counting by Tens

Skip Counting by Elevens

Skip Counting by Twelves


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    • Joy M profile image

      Joy M 4 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      Kids are like little sponges at that age. Enjoy sharing with her and she will enjoy her learning for years to come. That has been the case with my girls. :)

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very helpful information. My daughter is two and I am already having to start collecting lesson ideas. She has a voracious appetite for learning. Thanks for sharing these ideas!