Teaching children how to skip count builds their number sense, helps them learn how to quickly count on from a given number (4 more than 16 is 20, for example) and begins developing their ability to multiply and divide.
These free skip counting posters are great to use during whole class instruction or as a helpful reminder to display on the wall.
Fun Ways to Practice Skip Counting
Learning how to skip count doesn’t have to be boring! Try some of these fun ways to practice skip counting:
Whisper and Shout
Write the numbers 1 to 20 on the board. Show kids how to count by 2s by counting “1, 2” and then circling the two. Count “1, 2” again and circle the four. Continue counting “1, 2” until you’ve circled 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20.
Next, have kids whisper the numbers they skipped over and then shout out the numbers they landed on. For instance, in the example above, we call out the bolded even numbers below and whisper the odd numbers:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8…
Kids think it’s very silly to whisper and then shout back-to-back!
Have the kids stand in a circle. Explain that they’ll be taking turns counting from 1 to 100 around the circle. But, there’s a catch! There are some forbidden numbers that they’re not allowed to say (skip counting by 5s, for instance).
As play moves around the circle, instead of saying one of the forbidden numbers, children must replace it with the word “buzz” instead.
1 2 3 4 BUZZ 6 7 8 9 BUZZ 10 11 12 13 14 BUZZ
If students forget, they earn a point but keep playing so that they can continue practicing.
The players with the fewest points at the end of the game win.
Coloring a Hundred Chart
A great way to help kids really see number patterns when they skip count is to color a hundred chart. (You can grab our free copy here.) Children love seeing that they color five straight lines down their chart when they skip count by 2s and create diagonal lines running across the page when they count by 3s.
You can even skip count by placing coins on a hundred chart!