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Skip Count, Skip Count, Count by Two's

Count by Twos

2,4,6,8 Who do we appreciate?

2,4,6,8 Who do we appreciate?

Skip Counting

Skip Counting is what you do when you count by 10's, 5's or 2's. All young children learn these number sequences but did you realize that this is one of the beginning steps to learning multiplication and division?

Skip counting also helps when learning to read a clock. Notice how the minute hand progresses jumping five more minutes as the minute hand passes each of the numbers.

Think of skip counting by 2's as you read a thermometer. Go down to the Football field and notice the way the numbers increase by 10's.

This unit study has rhymes, songs and activities for teaching Skip Counting, skills that lead to understanding of many mathematical concepts. But why stop at only the 10's, 5's and 2's?

Here you will find poems, games, and activities to teach children these fun math sequences for each of the numbers from 2's to 12's Come discover fun, hands-on creative ideas that will have your children delightfully skip counting throughout the day.

Come on! Let's Skip Count...

Skip Count Song - Sung to the tune of Skip to My Lou

Princess and Toad Salt and Pepper Shakers

Princess and Toad Salt and Pepper Shakers

Hands-on Skip Counting Activities

Children love singing the above song. Once they have sung it a few times they might like to try some variations:


1. Repeat several times.

2. Take turns pointing to the words with a pointer while singing the song.

3. Point to pairs of objects while singing the song.

4. Pair up the class and count by 2's.

5. Count pairs of shoes, socks, feet or hands.

6. Have each child draw two of something. Mount it on the bulletin board and count by 2's.

7. Couples join hands and skip around the room singing the song.

Dancers come in Pairs

Combining Math and Art

It is important that children are exposed to a wide variety of art and art styles. John R. Keyser's Large Dance Troupe Wall Art depicting pairs of dancers is a wonderful way to introduce his style of art during a math lesson.

1. Talk about the way that the dancers are grouped by 2's.

2. Ask the children to form pairs and imitate the positions of the dancers.

3. Count the dancers by 2's.

Chant the college football cheer:

Two, four, six, eight,

Who do we appreciate?

Scroll to Continue

Susie, Susie, Yeah!

Substitute names of each of the children in class. Not only does using their names make the children feel important but it also encourages repeating the sequence over and over.

This chant works well as a song to sing when lining up to go to recess, lunch or as a chant to acknowledge an accomplishment.

Can you think of any other songs or chants that can be turned into Skip Counting songs?

Adding Tape Number Patterns

One day I introduced my children to an activity that John Holt described in his book, How Children Learn.

1. Show the children how to cut graph paper into long strips. (We found it worked best to use one inch graph paper to allow enough room for writing large numbers.)

2. Write numbers in each box.

3. Tape more strips on as needed.

4. Predict how long the strip will need to be to go off the table, to reach the floor, or to go all the way across the room. Will 1000 squares be enough?

John Holt observed that children become fascinated by this activity. As the numbers grow your strip gets longer and longer. Writing the numbers can even become hypnotic.

Some kids want to skip more and more, say, skipping by fives, then by tens, then by twenties, so it's a natural lead into skip counting. Some want to fill in every cell meticulously. If the children wish to skip count, remind them to make sure that they are leaving the correct number of spaces between each skip counted number.

This skip counting activity can really help children gain number sense.

Animals go Two by Two

Two by Two

In the story Mooove Over animals get on the bus in pairs as the bus driver counts by two's until the cow cuts in line and messes him all up.

We found pictures of pairs of animals, wrote the names of the animals under each picture and attached them to old wine corks. Then we turned an egg carton into a bus and counted the animals as they got on and off the bus by 2's.

We have also used animals from a Noah's Ark set to reenact the story from Mooove Over and then Skip Counted the animals by 2's as they entered the Arc.

Skip Counting with Adding Tape

Start with a number and skip count on. Adding Machine Tape encourages the children to continue on and on. They might begin by skip counting by 2's writing the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and start to notice that the ones digit just continues the pattern 2, 4, 6, 8 while the tens digit gradually goes up 1, 2, 3 etc changing every 5th number.

Older children might notice that in 10 numbers counting by 2's the tens digit changes every 5 numbers and that 10 divided by 2 equals 5.

Some children will start to notice patterns such as when you skip count by nines, the tens digit goes up counting by ones and the ones digit counts backwards.

There are patterns in math everywhere. What other patterns could you find?

Discovering Counting Patterns with a Calculator

  • Skip Counting with a Calculator
    Use a calculator to further develop the concept of skip counting as your children progress from hands-on counting to intuitive understanding of the concepts of multiplication and division.

Counting your Chickens

Drawing Pairs of Chickens

Find pictures or have children draw pairs of hens and roosters. By grouping the chickens together like this we can skip count by 2's to see how many chickens in all.

Skip count as you put your finger on each pair of chickens. My children love to end the skip counting by doing a clucking cheer while flapping their wings.

Now Skip Count by 2's to see how many chickens:

Skipping Song - Sing while Skip Counting


When I'm in a hurry

To count up something long,

I skip some of the numbers

As I sing this song.

Ducklings in a Row

Skip Counting Ducklings all in a Row

Two, four, six, eight chicks I saw

With a mother hen.

Ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen.

Count them all again.

Counting Pennies

Stack your pennies in piles of 10 and skip count to see how much you have.

Stack your pennies in piles of 10 and skip count to see how much you have.

Counting Money


Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty

Pennies on the floor.

To get up to a hundred

I'll need fifty more.


When counting pennies, line them up two by two and skip count by 2's until you get to ten. Then make piles of tens and skip count by 10's until you get to 100. Each group of 100 is a dollar. Push ten groups of tens together to begin to count by dollars.

Skip Counting Song

Feet come in Two's for Counting

Folk tales of Sri Lanka  Mahadenamutta goes in search of new pupils   Retold by R. S. KARUNARATNE

Folk tales of Sri Lanka Mahadenamutta goes in search of new pupils Retold by R. S. KARUNARATNE

Counting Pairs of Feet

Read this Folktale from Sri Lanka. The photo that accompanies it shows six people walking. Count by 2's to find out how many feet they have.

Pairs of Feet

Skip Counting Feet

Read the story How Many Feet in the Bed? and point out that the family is counting feet by one's and by two's. Practice skip counting your own feet by 2's. Then set up a doll bed and dolls in the Dramatic Play Center and let the children act out the story using the dolls.

You might read the story, One Fish, Two Fish, by Dr, Seuss where Ned says... Excerpt - page 20: ... My name is Ned. I do not like my little bed. This is no good. This is not right. My feet stick out of bed all night...

Pairs of Shoes

What else comes in twos? Why, pairs of shoes of course!

Take out all the shoes in your house. Place pairs of shoes on individual tiles in the kitchen. Skip count by 2's to see how many shoes in all. This is a fun way to organize your shoes, clean out the closets and look for shoes that might be too small or ready to donate to the local thrift store.

Were you surprised at how many shoes you actually own? Now try skip counting the number of socks needed to fill those shoes. How about the number of feet?

Eloise's children were small when faced with learning Skip Counting but she has some wonderful suggestions for making the concept come alive. By using socks to count by 2's, Eloise's child was able to experience the concept in a concrete and fun way

Hang Up the Pairs of Socks

Socks on the Clothesline

Many people have baby socks that are almost never worn. Ask parents to send them in. These socks can be used for sorting, patterns and for counting.

1. Hang up a clothesline along a wall.

2. Children sort the socks and use clothespins to hang them in pairs.

3. Count the socks by 2's.

Clothespins are good for improving fine motor coordination.

Skip Counting Song

To help children learn to count by 2's you could teach them the Math U See Skip Count Song:

Listen to the Skip Counting Song for counting by 2's from the Math U See curriculum. Designed for homeschoolers, much of this program works well in a classroom setting as well.

Skip Counting Ball Game Scores

Skip counting by twos can be fun when playing basketball. This worksheet created by my friend, Donnette, is available by clicking on the credit under the photo. Why not play a game of one on one basketball with two copies of the worksheet and fill in the answers as you make baskets?

Basketball Math

Basketball Number Count Activity

Basketball Number Count Activity

Basketball Number Patterns

While playing basketball whenever you make a basket you score 2 points. Here is a wonderful way to combine exercise and math.

Set up a basketball hoop and let the kids practice shooting hoops. They can keep score by counting by 2's.

A kinesthetic approach to skip counting by 2's.

Skip Counting ABAB Patterns

Baltlmore Oriole Nest

Baltlmore Oriole Nest

Skip Counting Math Patterns

Ask the children to made patterns. Simple patterns such as anABAB pattern lend themselves easily to Skip Counting. Let the children use a Pointers as they skip count the number of items in the pattern.

Make copies of baby birds flying or two eggs in a nest. Color half of them one color and the other half another color. Laminate them and use them to make ABAB patterns. Add Velcro to the back to use on a Flannel Board.

This is a great activity to do on National Handwriting Day. Save the pictures to use as a bulletin board boarder for spring.

People Patterns

Skip Counting

Skip Counting

Swing your Partner

Have the children form a circle and as they count off by 2's the even numbered children stand and the odd numbered children sit.

Now count the children by 2's pointing to the ones standing.

Do this activity in a circle rather than a line so that the children can see the sets of twos.

If you are homeschooling, and don't have enough children just substitute Barbie Dolls or Stuffed Animals.

Variation: The toys could also line up one facing the center and the next with their back to the center as in the illustrations above.

Number Corner Calendar Time

Number line is used to teach skip counting as part of Calendar Time

Number line is used to teach skip counting as part of Calendar Time

Number Line Activities

When I first began teaching I learned to create a calendar corner and a morning routine that taught and reinforced math concepts each morning. It is described in the Mathematics Their Way Newsletter.

The number line is constructed daily beginning on the first day of school. A red marker is used to circle the numbers that have a five or a zero to create the 5's skip-counting pattern and a green marker is used to box the numbers that have a zero to create the 10's skip-counting pattern.

Number Line Game:

Make a set of dice with only the numbers you are learning to skip count by. Such as 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. Write a number on each face of a wooden block.

Use Playmobil People or Animals as markers on the number line and see who can get to 100 first.

Odd - Even Poem

Notice how two Square Color Tiles will line up evenly in pairs, so will four but neither 3 nor 5 blocks will. This will help your child to understand odd and even numbers.

Skip Counting will help your child count up to the number of paired blocks.

Zero, two, four, six, eight

Being even is just great.

One, three, five, seven, nine

Being odd is just fine.

This math poem was one of my children's favorites.

Count with the Jumping Frog

Contar de dos en dos

To say "Skip Count by 2's" you say: "contar de dos en dos".

To say "Skip Count by 3's" you say: "contar de tres en tres".

Help your children master the numbers in Spanish by learning to skip count in Spanish.

Triple your Skip Counting Fun

Set of Three Balloons

Set of Three Balloons

Skip Counting by Threes

Now let's practice skip counting by threes.

Put together groups of three Unifix Cubes or balloons and then count them with this rhyme. It is from Monsters on my Shelf by Mr. R,

3, 6, 9, 12,

Put some more on the shelf;

15, 18, 21, 24,

Give me 27 more.

For Math Centers today, have children make sets of 3's and then count them. They might make the sets of objects,shells, for example, on a paper. Then have them draw a circle around each set and write the Skip count number in the circle.

Writing the pattern 3, 6, 9, 15 etc. will help the children transition from the concrete to abstract when learning multiplication facts.

Sets of Three

Tobias Turkey and his friends are making Thanksgiving decorations. Each child makes three. How many do four children make? How many do five make? How many do six make?" Five Thanksgiving-themed skip counting (by threes) word problems.

Buddy and Brenda Squirrel make 8 Thanksgiving Hand print Turkeys. How many fingers are together?

In the Fall it's fun to collect acorns or brightly colored leaves. Maple leaves have 5 points. Count the number of points on the leaves by 5's. Acorns can be put into groups of 3's and counted by threes.

If you find six things to count in each of the three books, how many things have you found to count? Count by 3's.

Each of the following fairy tales features three characters. If each of them is given four apples how many apples would they have?

Three Little Pigs Math

Skip Counting with The Three Little Pigs

If each of the Three Little Pigs had seven sets of clothing you could skip count by 3's to see how many sets they had in all.

What else would the pigs own? Play a game of brainstorming things belonging to the pigs and skip count to see how many there are in total.

Counting Wolves

Skip Counting with the Three Wolves

Skip Counting with the Three Wolves

Learning to Skip Count

If each of the Three Little Wolves had 4 pig friends you could skip count by 4's to see how many friends in all.

Counting The Three Bears

Math with the Three Bears

Math with the Three Bears

Skip Counting by Threes

If each of the Three Bears picked 8 flowers for Goldilocks on their walk in the woods, you could skip count by 3's to see how many flowers they picked.

  • Pretend to be the Three Little Bears.
  • Choose three children to be the bears
  • Each child picks 8 flowers.
  • Get out some plastic cups to use as vases.
  • Each bear puts a flower in each vase until there are three flowers in each cup.
  • Ask the children how many flowers are in each cup.
  • Then skip count by threes to determine the number of flowers in total.

Three Goats

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Goats eat Grass

If each of the Three Billy Goats Gruff ate 10 blades of grass once they crossed the bridge, you could skip count by 10's to see how much grass they had eaten.

Three Little Kittens

Three Little Kittens Count Their Mittens

Three Little Kittens Count Their Mittens

Counting Mittens

If each of the Three Little Kittens wore a pair of mittens, you could skip count by 2's to see how many mittens they were wearing.

  • Make a mitten template.
  • Have children trace around the template and cut out two mittens for each of the kittens.
  • Write numbers one to six, one number on each mitten
  • Post a picture of three kittens
  • Match two mitten to each of the three kittens
  • Skip count by twos to see how many mittens are owned by the Three Little Kittens


Trilliums are Endangered

Trilliums are Endangered

Skip Counting Trilliums

One day we were walking in the woods and saw a patch of Trilliums. We used that opportunity to practice skip counting. We counted each flower and in the end had discovered how many petals there were.

As you look for flowers this spring, don't forget to practice skip counting.

Fence Rail Craft Sticks for Counting

Pick a number and have children make fence sections using that number of craft sticks. Use play dough or clay to hold the fence sections up. The simplest fence rails have three parts and are continuously connected. Skip count these rails by 3's.

Children make corrals for their farm or zoo animals and then count by the number of rails in each fence section to see how many rails were used for each corral.

This activity goes well with the Garner Rix Unit Study about farm life in the 18th century.

Skip Count by Threes as you Dance the Waltz - A Kinesthetic Approach to Skip Counting

A waltz, or valse from the French term, is a piece of music in triple meter, most often 3/4 but sometimes 3/8 or 6/4. A waltz has a 1.2.3. - 1.2.3. count and (generally) a slow tempo. Waltzes typically have one chord per measure, with the root of the chord as the first note.

Classical composers traditionally supplied music for dancing when required, and Schubert's waltzes were written for household dancing, without any pretense at being art music.



Waltzing to a 3/4 Time

Waltzing to a 3/4 Time

Dancing and Skip Counting

Dancing can help children feel the beat of skip counting. When you dance the waltz you can feel the beat of the 3/4 time and children can lean to count by threes as they dance. It is a wonderful way to get those figity children actively engaged in math.

Skip Count the Holly Leaves by 3's - Make You Own Skip Counting Christmas Book

Holiday Skip Counting Fun

1. Cut computer paper in half. Put it together and fold it in half. Staple the sheets on the fold to make a blank book. Cover the staples with cloth tape to keep fingers safe.

2. Make copies of pictures of holly and berries.

3. Children glue one picture on the first page and write the 3 holly leaves and 3 berries.

4. On the second page glue two pictures and write 6 holly leaves and 6 berries.

5. Continue with the rest of the book.

6. Make up and write a story to go with the pictures.

Writing about math helps to cement the concepts being learned and the story will be one that children will love to read over and over again especially with relatives coming for the holidays.

This Christmas Skip Counting book idea comes from:

Create a Skip Counting book for Christmas

  • Christmas Skip Counting Book
    Give your child some practice with even numbers, while creating a cute Christmas keepsake. Create this skip counting book.

Hundred's Board Skip Counting

Hundreds Board Skip Counting by 3's - Skip Counting with Unifix Cubes

Using Unifix Cubes or other manipulatives, place one Unifix Cube on the number three on a Hundreds Board. Then count over three and place another. Continue skip counting by threes until you have reached 99. Did you notice the diagonal patterns that are formed when skip counting by threes?

You could use most any hundreds boards for this activity but I prefer the Montessori Hundreds Board because you could experiment with the patterns created when you place rows of a number other than ten. What happens if you place four tiles on each row? Then place a unifix cube every three numbers? You can now see the multiples of three and four! This would help children understand the Greatest Common Denominator or the Least Common Multiple.

Skip Counting Games - Games for Skip Counting

Skip counting can be so much fun. Today we counted the number of eyes in our classroom by 2's, the number of fingers by 5's, and then took off our shoes to count our toes by 10's.

We then started to talk about things that normally come in 2's, 3's, 4's etc. and will start making art projects with those number of objects. I plan to take pictures of the art projects and then turn them into class books.

Then we began to make sets of three toothpicks. We glued the toothpicks in sets of threes onto index sized pieces of black coverstock. We skip counted them by threes: 3, 6, 9 etc. Then we posted them on the bulletin board and wrote the skip counting numbers on them in order using white chalk.

Skip Counting by 4's - Skip Counting with Buttons

More Hands-on Skip Counting Activities

  • Timestables in 21 Days
    Skip Count by 4's while singing the tune to Mary Had a Little Lamb. Then tap a finger for each number you sing. The finger will tell you the number you multiply by 4 in order to get that fact. Times tables (multiplication facts) in 21 days. Learning
  • Car Shape
    Outline of the shape of a car for making mathmats. Add four buttons to represent the number of wheels on each car.
  • Counting By Fours Song | Sing. Dance. Learn.
    Counting By Fours Song Lyrics Okay, get down Hands and feet should touch the ground Now stand up straight on the floor Let's count up to twenty, we'll start with four 4, 8, 12, 16, 20
  • Elementary Math Poem: Skip Counting by 4
    Mr. R.'s math poem skip counting by 4: My best teacher, Had 4 noses, Had 4 feet, Had for toeses...see more elementary math videos, poems, stories, and lessons at
  • Buttons from the Rag Bag! Button Jar Math Activities
    For more ideas on how to use buttons to teach math be sure to visit this article ... Save the buttons from discarded clothing and recycle them as fun, hands-on math manipulatives. What could you learn with a collection of old buttons?
  • Math Dynamics -- Skip Counting Games
    Skip Counting Games and Rhymes BUILDING A GATE (WITH FOURS) 4, 8, 12, Here comes good ole Melve. 16, 20, 24, Now he's knocking at the door. 28, 32, 36, He brought some big sticks. 40, 44, 48, Guess what -- He's built a gate!

Buttons and Mathmats

As you drive around town ask your child to tell you how many cars they see. Then how many wheels are on the cars all together. Skip Counting by 4's will become easier the more times you play this game.

Make mathmats shaped like cars. Use buttons as wheels.

Children put four wheels on each car and then skip count by 4's to see how many wheels they have on all the cars together.

4, 8, 12, 16, 20, etc

Soon your child will know all the answers to the 4's Times Tables. Don't forget to skip count backwards as well as skip count on as your child progresses. What's 4 more than 8?

What comes in fours? - Things to Skip Count by 4's

Skip Counting Shirt Buttons

Look around you. Some pretty interesting things come in 4's. Some pretty ordinary things come in 4's as well. You could start making a book of 4's illustrating things that you can count by 4's. Another idea would be to put them on an index card for the next time you need to go on a boring errand. Pick a card and have so much fun counting by 4's that you forget to be bored.

The buttons in a man's button down shirt usually have 4 holes in each. You can count the holes down the front of a man's shirt by counting by 4's.

When my children did this activity, we added the button holes by adding four dots to each button. Then we wrote the skip counting by 4's number or number sentence beside each button. Some children added buttons to the cuffs and collar in order to continue skip counting higher numbers.

How about counting the holes on your teacher's shirt, the principal's shirt, or your dad's shirt?

The Quadrille is Danced by Groups of Four Couples - Skip Count to see how many Dancers

The Quadrille is danced by groups of four couples. Teach the children how to dance the Quadrille and then organize the class so that as many sets as possible can dance. Children can skip count to see how many dancers are able to dance at once.

Another dance related to the Quadrille, and thus applicable to skip counting by 4's, is Square Dancing,

The Lobster Quadrille is mentioned in Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland. When we were learning about lobsters we made a set of Lobster Lima Beans by spray painting them red on one side and greenish-brown on the other.

You can use a fine-tipped permanent marker to draw in the features and hairspray as a fixative.

Use these Lima Bean Lobsters to form the sets for the Lobster Quadrille with the red side being one partner and the green as the other partner. Now you can skip count to see how many dancers there are joining in the dance.

The Quadrille

  • Quadrille
    Photo Credit: Quadrille on Wikipedia Quadrille is a historic dance performed by four couples in a square formation, a precursor to traditional square dancing. - Wikipedia
  • The Lobster Quadrille
    Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll (chapter10) The Mock Turtle sighed can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster Quadrille is!' 'No, indeed,' said Alice. 'What sort of a dance is it?'
  • Quadrupedalism - Wikipedia
    Quadrupedalism is a form of land animal locomotion using four limbs or legs. An animal or machine that usually moves in a quadrupedal manner is known as a quadruped, meaning "four feet" (from the Latin quad for "four" and ped for "foot"). Does being

Watch the Dogs jump through the Hoops - Count by 4's - Applying Learning Styles to Skip-counting

Dog Jumping through a Hoop

Dog Jumping through a Hoop

Multisensory Skip Counting

Imagine dogs jumping through the hoops. Four feet go through for each dog. Count their feet by 4's as each dog goes through. To make this a Kinesthetic activity, have the children pretend to be dogs and jump through a hula hoop. Count their legs and arms as the four legs of each dog.

  • Kinesthetic - Number line skip counting on the sidewalk.
  • Tactile - Skip counting with fingers.
  • Visual - Pointing and skip counting on the Hundreds Board
  • Auditory - Saying the skip counting sequence aloud.
  • Guilt-Free Homeschooling
    Today's lesson is for the parent who is saying, "Okay, I understand that this child is more auditory and that child is more visual, but what do I do with that information?" I will walk you through a basic lesson for early math, skip-counting. While

Skip Counting by Fours with Rhythm Sticks

Create a rhythm with your body. Add Rhythm Sticks to add sound and to emphasize the fourth beat in the rhythm. Watch how these children count by fours to forty and then back again. Could you dance and count by 4's along with them?

Regular Practice Leads to Mastery - Practice Skip Counting Every Day

The more you skip count the easier it gets. If your children have not yet learned their multiplication and division facts it is important to practice on a daily basis. Practicing can be boring if you only practice in one way. We constantly look for new and innovative ways to practice.

Button Holes are Fun for Skip Counting

Skip Counting button holes

Skip Counting button holes

Button Hole Math

Buttons are very handy to have when learning math but any small objects in large quantities will do.

At the Art Center put out a container of buttons, glue and stiff cardstock or cardboard squares.

Use lots of glue to glue 5 buttons on each square.

Try to make as many different patterns as possible with just 5 buttons.

Make sure the children know where to put the squares for drying and don't forget to model how to clean up glue spills.

Use these cards for counting by 5's.


Count fingers on hands.

* points on stars

* nickels

* 5 dollar bills

Counting all the Domino Fives - Domino Skip Counting Math Center

Skip Counting Dominoes

Pick out all the dominoes that add up to 5. Then count by fives to see how many dots are on them.


  • Make multiplication problems by taking random numbers of dominoes that add up to five and writing the number problem.
  • Play a game of Slap Jack to 50. Turn over a domino at a time, if the two sets of dots add up to 10, the first to slap it gets the domino. The winner is the first person to get 50 points. Skip count by 10's each time you win a domino.

I've Been Working on My Math Facts - Skip Counting Math Songs

Gathering ideas from across the web, we find that children are skip counting by 5's in many different exciting and creative ways. Have you tried these activities with your children?

More ideas for counting by Fives!

  • Scrambled Eggs or Counting by Fives
    Pass out a large card with a multiple of 5 to each student. Ask students to quietly rearrange themselves in correct order, holding the card in front of them. Note: Write the numbers on large white paper plates. Stack for storage.
  • The Domino Worm
    Use Dominoes to learn about number families. If you have three dots on one side and two dots on the other. What sentences can you come up with using the numbers 3, 2, and 5. Look for all the dominoes that add up to five. Skip count by fives to see

Counting the Points on a Star - Skip Counting by 5's

Make a Starry Starry Night Counting Book with dark blue construction paper divided in half and stapled together.

1. Paste one star on the first page, two on the second etc.

2. Write at the bottom of each page

One star has 5 points.

Two stars have 10 points.

Three stars have 15 points. etc.

You can write this in white chalk and spray it with hair spray for a fixative. If children make their own books you could leave the number blank and have the children fill in the numbers skip counting by 5's.

Skip Counting by Fives

Painting of Koi Fish

Painting of Koi Fish

Skip Counting Koi Fish

5 fishies in the puddle.

Swimming in a little huddle.

10 fishies in the river,

See a fisherman and start to quiver.

15 fishies in the lake,

See a net and start to quake.

20 fishes in the ocean,

See a trawler and start a commotion.

5, 10, 15, 20,

Eat some fishies,

There is plenty.

Make copies of the poem and have children paste fish stickers on each page.


  • Teach the children how to draw fish or a fish symbol and they can draw the pictures for each page of the book.
  • Make sure that each child signs his or her name to their book. Put the books in the class library for everyone to read. (Laminate if possible.)

Fill the Tins and Skip Count the Total - Math Manipulatives for Skip Counting

What do your children like to play with? What small items do you have in large quantities that they would like to count?

1. Get out your favorite manipulative.

2. Put 5 in each hole in a muffin tin.

3. Skip count to find out how many there are in all.

Check out Sarah Sesser's wonderful site for more Skip Counting Ideas.

Hand Play Skip Counting - Counting the Fingers on Top by 5's

Most children remember playing the game where the bottom hand is always put on top.

As children get older they can start to play the game while counting the fingers that land on the top by 5's. When you get to 100 it's time to go fast and silly.

Skip Counting Minutes by Fives

The minutes roll by with this fun math rotation activity. Each pair of children needs a clock with movable hands.

1. roll the dice

2. Move 5 minutes for each five that you roll.

3. The first player to make it to the next hour is the winner.

Variation: Include dice that add up to five such as 4+1 or 6-1.

Skip Counting by 6's

Six rows of hearts

Six rows of hearts

Half Dozen Egg Carton - Skip Count by Sixes

Skip Counting by 6's - Six Times Tables

How many hearts did you get for Valentine's Day? Separate them into groups of six's and skip count to find out.

Did you ever notice that Skip Counting by 6's is just like Skip Counting by 3's and leaving out every other number? It reminds me of the difference between counting by 1's and then learning to skip count by 2's or skip counting by 5's and then learning to Skip Count by 10's.

We will now look at some fun, hands-on, creative ways to practice and learn to skip count by 6's...

60 Aliens Song

(sung to the tune of We Are Pop*Candy by Miku Hatsune which can be found on YouTube.)

6, 12, and 18

24, 30, 36

42, 48, 54

60 aliens

Are running after us

But there's no danger here so let's all be friends.

This song was adapted by Susie Saenz from the Skip counting by 6's song on Songs for Teaching. We like this version better as it seems kinder.

Skip Counting By 6's

  • Skip-Counting by Sixes (6s) Song
    Aliens have come to town They're trying to take me down I've gotta run, I've gotta see How many are chasing me 6, 12, 18 24, 30, 36 42, 48, 54 60 aliens outside The army has finally come The aliens are on the run They caught the aliens in a net How
  • TouchMath Upper Grades Skip Counting Kit
    Fun worksheets for practicing skip counting by 6's and 7's

Seven Sided Mandula - Seven sectioned flowers for skip counting by sevens

Skip Counting by Sevens

Can you find flowers or other plants whose sections are divided into sevens? Line them up in a row or just point to each one as you skip count by sevens.

Counting by 7's - Skip Counting by sevens

Pattern Blocks

Pattern Blocks

Skip Counting by Sevens

Teach the children how to make a six pointed star by making two triangles; one pointing up and the other pointing down.

Then show them how to make stars using six green triangles and one yellow hexagon pattern blocks.

Finally number or count the parts of the star. There are six green triangles and one yellow hexagon making seven parts all together. Now make more 7 part stars. Skip count by sevens to see how many blocks you have used.

Make lots of 7 section stars or pattern block stars and count the star parts by 7's.

How many other patterns can you make with just 7 pattern blocks? Skip count by 7's to figure out how many blocks were used to make all the patterns.

One day we looked at some of the characters in our favorite stories and discovered ways to skip count by sevens...

Seven Little Postmen - Skip count all the things that the Seven Little Postmen carry, wear and deliver.

The Seven Continents - Skip count all the things that the seven continents have in common.

The Seven Chinese Sisters - Skip count the things owned by the Seven Chinese Sisters

Three Pigs, One Wolf and Seven Magic Shapes - Make many, many different shapes using these tangram blocks and then skip count to see how many blocks

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Skip count all they things owned by the 7 Dwarfs.

Seven Colors of the Rainbow - What can you skip count by 7's?

Seven Colors of the Rainbow

Seven Colors of the Rainbow

The Seven Colors of the Rainbow

Children love to draw rainbows. Collect all the rainbows your children have drawn and use them to practice counting by 7's.

Learn more about the seven colors of the rainbow by holding the prisms in the sun. Can you see all seven colors? If you use all seven prisms, can you make seven rainbows? Count all the colors you see. Count by 7's!

Read about rainbows to discover that there are seven colors in the rainbow. Ask the children to draw rainbows and then skip count by 7's the number of colors they used.

Use crayons to draw rainbows and then skip count by sevens to see how many colors you have used.

Set up 7 prisms and count by 7's the number of colors showing.

Skip Counting Sevens Video - Learn to Skip Count by 7's

You can use this song for memorizing the products of seven. Kids take turns making up noises (whistles, head scratching, stomping feet etc.) to fit into the song. With each version they skip count by 7's and soon know the 7 times table.

Skip Counting Architectural Features

When you are driving, walking or on a bus, look for patterns in the Architectural features on the buildings that you pass. You can use skip counting to quickly count how many windows, gargoyles, spikes on a fence or circles on a cruise ship.

In a relief we saw when visiting Italy we noticed seven figures. The pattern repeated all around the building. We skip counted by 7's to see how many figures in all.


Skip Counting Birthday Song

Think of things that come in 8's like legs on an octopus, sides on an octagon, or octuplets.

Pretend that it's time for a birthday party. Two children act out the following rhyme substituting a child's name in the blank. My children loved this rhyme so much that they would often play it during recess and by the time they were ready to learn multiplication, the eights were as easy as a slice of birthday cake.

Skip Counting the Eight Maids a Milking - Skip Counting by 8's

Eight Maids Milking

There are 8 maids who will milk 8 cows. There will be 8 milk buckets, 8 aprons, 8 milk stool. How many other 8's can you find? Skip count by 8's to see how many milking things you found.

Recycle Wrapping Paper Skip Counting Activities

Wrapping paper often has repeated patterns. In the deer pattern to the left, children can circle herds of reindeer and skip count to find out how many reindeer there are.

Ask parents to help you collect plastic animals such as the reindeer found at Christmas Time. These deer can be put into herds and counted by Skip Counting for a Christmas Reindeer Skip Counting Center.

To turn this into a game, use dice to determine how many reindeer there should be in each group.

Did you remember that Santa had eight tiny little reindeer? Each of the reindeer wore a string of bells. Santa wanted to make sure that each reindeer had the same number of bells so he passed the bells around one at a time. Each time he needed to remove 8 bells. As Santa removes the bells and passes them out you can count by 8's to see how many bells Santa has removed from from the box.

1. As a math workjob or mathmat you could place a placemat with eight reindeer on it on the table. The children place one bell on each reindeer and count 8.

2. Then they place another bell on each reindeer and count 16 etc.

3. Continue unitl they get to 9 bells on each reindeer for 72 total bells.

As an alternative to a placemat you could use reindeer coasters.

1. Roll two dice to see how many reindeer Santa will hook up to his sleigh.

2. Place that number of Reindeer Coasters on the table.

3. Now give each of these reindeer 8 bells.

How many bells did Santa need for the reindeer that night? Count by 8's to figure the answer.


Learn how to use your fingers to show all the numbers from 0 to 99 using both your hands. It actually turns your fingers into an abacus that you can use to count and calculate the four mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Learn how to skip count by 9's with Chisanbop!

  • Finger Skip Counting By 9's
    Ignore the thumb and count the fingers on each side. Then fingers down represent the tens and the fingers up represent the ones when you count by 9's.
  • Chisombop
    The number of fingers up to the left of the folded finger is the tens and the number to the right of the folded finger is the ones.

Skip Counting by 9's - Skip Count by 9's Song

Can you skip count by 9's? Sometimes a song is just what you need to master the number sequence. Watch this video over and over and soon you will be singing the skip counting by 9's number sequence as well.

Football Yard Lines - Counting by Tens

Football Yardlines

Football Yardlines

Skip Count down the Football Field

Make a football field and mark the yards by 10's. Pretend that the fans are coming out onto the field to congratulate the players. The fans are buttons. Put ten fans on each section of the field and then count by tens to see how many fans there are.

How many buttons?

1. Put ten buttons on each plate.

2. Skip Count by 10s.

3. Write the numbers using a dry erase marker.

Young readers will not only learn how to count but investigate some of their favorite subjects in this new counting series.

By searching throughout the house a young boy collects 100 buttons.

Counting Pumpkin Pie Slices

We send a survey home asking for a pumpkin pie count. Children ask family members how many pies they will make for Thanksgiving Dinner. The children color a pie for each family member or friend that will be making or bringing a pumpkin pie to their Thanksgiving Dinner.

These pies are attached to a 10 X 10 grid at first in ones and then in columns of 10 and possibly more tens and ones columns if needed.

Making the graph, attaching pies that look like pies and counting the pies daily as new ones come in help the visual and auditory learners internalize the concept of place value. Attaching the pumpkin pies helps the tactile learners. If you chant in a sing songy voice as your count the pies maybe starting with the verse from Over the River and Through the Woods that ends with Hurrah for the Pumpkin Pie you will also include the musical learners.

Over the river and through the wood --

Now Grandmother's cap I spy!

Hurrah for fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

10, 20, 30 ...

Skip Counting with Quipus - Skip Counting the Inca Way