13 Skip Counting Hands-On Activities


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My middles son is in first grade, and they are starting to learn to skip count. Being a visual and tactile learner, my son needs a different way to practice both counting by ones and skip counting. I tried practicing counting by twos verbally, but he really struggled to understand what we were doing. My husband passed by while we were practicing, and immediately realized what our son needed. Later, my son and husband practiced counting to 100 and skip counting by twos using their new number board.

Using a number board, we taught our first grader to skip count. Plus, twelve more skip counting hands-on activities!

Skip Counting with a Number Board

While my sons and I finished up school, my husband made this number board:

Our Homemade Number Board

My husband and son started using the number board to count from 1 to 100. As my son counted, he also pointed to each number on the number board. Having him point and count ensured he practiced one-to-one correspondence while counting, and was able to identify the numbers. It took some work, but eventually my son counted all the way to 100 on his own!

Next they used the number board to practice skip counting. I never realized, but skip counting can be a difficult concept for some kids to understand. They either don’t understand what is meant by skipping a number, or skipping a number makes them completely lose their spot while counting. We used the number board to make a visual representation of skip counting by twos. Using some small pieces of foam (you could also use uncooked beans), my son blocked out all the numbers he would skip. Then he pointed to each number as he skip counted from 2 to 100.

Using our number board for skip counting by twos.

Once my son understood what “skip counting by 2s” meant, he started counting on his own, but used the foam pieces to block off the skipped numbers as he counted.

Hands-on skip counting.

Every night before bed, my husband and son practiced using the number board. After a couple of weeks, my son was able to count to 100 by ones and twos without the number board!

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    For more ideas on skip counting, here are some fun activities to do with your kids!

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