7 Fun Ways to Teach Counting!

Counting - Learning Numbers

Counting is a math skill that we use every day as adults.  It’s become so ingrained in our psyche, throw repetition and application, that we barely think about the counting exercises we perform on any given day.  Counting is a seriously important and teaching it to young students or people with disabilities can be much more challenging than expected.  Let’s take a look at 7 fun and meaningful ways to teach counting and don’t forget to check out our counting worksheets for kindergarten!.

1. Songs

People love a good song, especially catchy songs that get stuck in your head all day.  When it comes to learning how to count, what better way to learn than memorizing a mellifluous diddy that will stay in your head for life?  I mean, we all know our ABCs thanks to some genius teacher partnering the alphabet to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”  Whether you are learning numbers 1-10 or how to count by tens or hundreds. There are countless songs you can easily find on YouTube to get your classroom rocking. Here’s a great site that has several beginning math songs to choose from!

2. Cookie Cutters

One of my personal favorite activities is to use numbered outlines of cookie cutters.  All you need is some cookie dough and the number 0-9 and you’re cooking–literally.  For each cookie you make, use a different number and count how many you bake.  From there you can build into all kinds of lessons, such as teaching evens and odds by frosting the odds and putting sprinkles on the evens.  Here’s a good cookie cutter choice for under $10 on amazon.

3. Stencil Art

Using stencils to make number art and practice writing the numbers in a great fine motor skill to work on.  There are all kinds of sizes and adaptive ways to use stencils that can be beneficial to all learners.  Stencils essentially make your numbers “error-free” enabling students to practice their handwriting while counting in order.  You can use different colors and even create artwork to show off your skills!

4. Bead Necklaces

Another great way to build fine motor skills while learning how to count is by using beads to make necklaces.  One great counting activity is to make bead necklaces of a certain number.  You can get multi-colored beads to make designs and patterns.  For example, you can make a necklace that has a pattern of five red beads and 10 yellow beads continuing along.  Students will love having artwork to show off at home, and they’ll be excited to share their patterns with families and friends.

5.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

Counting can be a tedious task, so sometimes it is best to create meaning around the skill.  “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, is a wonderful picture book with beautiful illustrations that will captivate your audience.  There is a brilliant animation adaptation that you can find on YouTube and reading the book will help bring the story to life.   Eating (and counting) your way through the week with the caterpillar is such a fun activity.  If you go day-by-day with the caterpillar, you can even theme your lesson to be dedicated to a number of the day (i.e. Tuesday is dedicated to the number two).

6. Number Hopscotch

With a little chalk or some painter’s tape, you can make a hopscotch court just about anywhere to practice counting.  You can hop by ones and twos or by tens and hundreds.  This activity will keep kids moving, practice waiting in short lines, and taking turns.  You don’t have to be confined to a classic hopscotch board either.  You can make any pattern of design you want for your lesson.

7. Sorting/Dice Games

Sorting and Dice games can go hand-in-hand and partner in any lesson or activity that you have.  There are collections of colored animals such as bears that you can buy and have the kids sort based on the color.  From there, they can count how many of each color they have and even compare size.  Additionally, if you have dice, you can have students roll the dice and sort different colors of bears into bowls or boxes.

With any counting activity, creativity is your best friend and the number one way to develop engaging ways to get your students counting.  Every lesson counts when it comes to numbers–pun very much intended!

Here are some other great counting resources on the web!

Top 7 Ways To Teach Counting To 100: Counting To 100, Teaching Numbers, How To Teach Kids

20 Fun Ways To Learn How To Count:  https://www.pre-kpages.com/20-fun-ways-to-learn-how-to-count/

The Very Hungry Caterpillar–Animated Film

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