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How to Teach Skip Counting

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Skip counting is something we’ve all done, maybe without even realizing it. Think of the catchy chant, “2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate?” and you’ve just skip counted by twos!

Learn how to teach skip counting to kids!

What Is Skip Counting?

In a nutshell, it’s basically counting up from a number other than the number 1 and then increasing by that same number. For example, to skip count by twos you’ll start counting at the number 2 and increase by 2 each time. This of course gives us 2, 4, 6, 8, and so on, as high as infinity!

Skip counting can be fun for younger children. It can also build a foundation for future success in math without them even realizing it.

Why Should We Teach Skip Counting?

When children learn this important skill, they’re building a solid number sense foundation. They also begin to recognize patterns in numbers. This sets the stage for math fluency and learning multiplication facts down the road.

Skip Counting - How to Teach Kids Skip Counting Skills

Using Manipulatives

Multiplication requires adding equal sets, so a fun way to build on that concept is to use manipulatives to skip count sets. Basically any type of manipulative will work. You can use counters, cubes, links, etc. You can even get creative and try using candies like m&ms or Skittles. Yum!

Students count out equal sets of their manipulatives and then use them to skip count. For example, if you’re working on counting by 3, have students create equal groups of 3s. To take this a step further, add a fun counting song to really drive the concept home!

How to Teach Skip Counting to Kids - MamaTeaches.com

Catchy Songs

Music is one of the best ways for kids to remember a concept. When they learn a catchy song, they can pull it from their memory banks for years to come! They can use their fingers to keep track of the numbers being multiplied. Here are some of my favorite counting tunes that you can find on YouTube.

  • Jack Hartmann loves to move and groove to catchy tunes! Have your kids exercise and learn to count by 3s here.  
  • With cool space-themed songs, Scratch Garden shows kids how to count by 5s and by 10s.
  • Planning Playtime teaches skip counting to the tune of familiar nursery rhymes. Kids will learn to count by 4s to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and by 7s to “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” 

We also love the skip counting songs associated with Classical Conversations. While we don’t partake in the homeschool co-op program anymore, the songs were definitely memorable. Check it out!

Skip Counting Games and Worksheets

You can find skip counting worksheets for 2s and 3s in the Freebies Library! Not a member yet? Join below!

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