10 Fun and Exciting Ideas for Skip Counting By 5s and 10s

10 Fun and Exciting Ideas for Skip Counting Fun Cathy Collier

Skip counting can be fun, but it’s also an important step in true understanding of number sense. As teachers of kindergarten and first-grade students, we understand the importance of laying a strong foundation in numerical fluency. Skip counting by fives and tens is not just about reciting numbers in order—it’s about building essential skills. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical strategies, engaging activities, and classroom-tested tips to make teaching and practicing skip counting a breeze.

So, grab your teaching tools and let’s explore lessons for skip counting with enthusiasm and purpose! Any of these activities can be used for practicing skip for 5s and 10s.

skip counting ideas

1. Sit Down Circle: Students stand in a circle while the teacher is in the middle. The teacher walks the inside circle and places her hand on a student’s head while the student counts the number in skip counting sequence. For example the first child says 5, the second child says 10, the third child says 15, and so on. When a student gets to the prescribed ending, either 50 or 100, that student sits down.

The teacher begins a new loop with the next student and the pattern starts over at 5. Each time the ending number lands on a student, that student sits down. Eventually there will be one student standing. It seems so simple but my student absolutely loved playing this game.

2. Hopscotch Fun: Create a giant hopscotch grid on the floor. Start with labeling the hopscotch pad with 5s and 10s and the students recite the numbers as they step on it.

Move to labeling the squares with #1-10 and the students need to count by 5s or 10s by themselves.

10 Fun and Exciting Ideas for Skip Counting Fun Cathy Collier

3. Counting Chain: Provide each child with a strip of paper with numbers in multiples of 5 written on it. Have them work together to connect the strips and form a long counting chain. This visual representation helps them see the pattern of skip counting by 5s.

Alternately each child can be given 5 strips of paper, four of one color and one of another. Students will write the numbers one through 4 on the same color paper and the number 5 on the other color. Each student in the class makes a chain of five.

10 Fun and Exciting Ideas for Skip Counting Fun Cathy Collier

These chains can be combined to make a class chain, with every 5th link being the standout color. Students can help count the number of links in the large chain skipping to the standout color and skip counting by fives as they go.

Of course, this chain can also be made with links of 10, 9 links being one color and the 10th link being a different color. This could also be a wonderful grade level lesson. Each class can make a chain that can be added to the other classes chains.

These larger chains can be strung together in sets of 100 and stretched down the length of the hallway.

4. Bowling for 5s: Set up a bowling alley lane with 10 pens and a bowling ball. Students roll the ball and knock over pins. After knocking over the pins the student needs to go pick up and count by fives to earn points.

For example, one student rolls the ball and knocks over 7 pins. That student walks to the end of the lane and as they set up the seven pins for the next student they need to count by fives as they do it.

5. Nickel Race: For this game the teacher will need a bucket of plastic or cut out circles to represent nickels, a die, and a graph measuring 5 rows of four columns. The team is divided into two teams.

One at a time students roll a die and add nickels to a graph and count by fives. Each time that team fills their graph by counting to 50 or 100 the students get a point. After every student has had a chance to roll a dice and add the nickels the winner has the most points.

6. Counting by 5s Song: Singing to the tune of London Bridges, students will count by 5s and 10s.

Each line of the song has 13 syllables, the chart to the left has the song broken down into syllables.

7. Number Puzzle: Cut out puzzle pieces with numbers in multiples of 5 and mix them up.

Have the children work together to assemble the puzzle in the correct order, reinforcing their understanding of skip counting by 5s.

10 Fun and Exciting Ideas for Skip Counting Fun Cathy Collier

8. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt: Hide objects in the outdoor area and label each hiding spot with a number in multiples of 5. Give the children a list of the objects to find and challenge them to locate each one while skip counting by 5s as they move around.

9. Skip Counting Snack Time: Use snacks like pretzels, grapes, or crackers to practice skip counting by 5s. Give each child a small pile of snacks and have them group them into sets of 5. Then, count the total number of snacks by skip counting by 5s together before enjoying their snack.

10 Fun and Exciting Ideas for Skip Counting Fun Cathy Collier

skip counting mentor texts

10. Mentor Texts: I love the book Lots of Ladybugs by Michael Dahl. This book uses spots on the ladybugs to count by 5.

The first page contains a ladybug with five dots and the corresponding numeral 5 on a leaf. The subsequent pages have additional ladybugs with five dots each and they can search for the numeral on the page.

An added feature on each page is that the back of the ladybug is divided in half and the black dots create number bonds.

Additionally, as students add the next number in skip counting the numeral and dot representations are added to the bottom of the page. This book counts up to 50. There’s even 5 fun facts included on the last page about ladybugs.

Students can build a corresponding ladybug on their own. They can be provided with a black Oval and a red circle. The Oval will serve as the head and body of the ladybug and students can add eyes to one end of the Oval. The red circle can be cut in half and students can draw five dots in any number bond configuration.

For example, one student may choose 2 and 3, one student may choose 1 and 4, one student may choose 5 and 0. These ladybugs can be added to a bulletin board that is counting by fives. (SIDE NOTE: Glue push pins to the back of the ladybug, so they stand out from the bulletin board.)

10 Fun and Exciting Ideas for Skip Counting Fun Cathy Collier

Other Pictures Books for Skip Counting:

Arctic Fives Arrive, Hands Down, Starry Arms.

bonus tip for skip counting

11. Paint Chip Skip Counting: Check out my blog post Obsessed with Paint Chips: 6 More Ideas to find a fun way to show skip counting by 5s.

Using the Paint Chips with 5 color variations, ask students to write numerals across the paint chip in groups of 5. When everyone is done, the paint chips can be put in order in a sequential line.

Don’t you just LOVE paint chips…I do!

Obsessed with Paint Chips: 6 MORE Ideas for Colorful Lessons Cathy Collier

As we wrap up our exploration of skip counting by fives and tens, it’s clear that these foundational skills are crucial for our young learners. By incorporating engaging activities, hands-on experiences, and a supportive learning environment, we can empower our students to confidently navigate the world of numbers.

As educators, let’s continue to foster a love for math and provide opportunities for our students to practice and master skip counting, setting them on a path to mathematical success. Together, we can ensure that every child has the tools they need to excel in numeracy and beyond.

Cathy Collier

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lebogang

    I am impressed with the flash cards

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