Skip counting ideas and activities for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade math class.

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the big list of skip counting ideas and activities


If you teach 1st or 2nd grade you’ve probably spent a lot more time skip counting than the average person off the street.  It’s one of those things that kids need a lot of short, frequent practice with.   If the thought of counting by 5s one more time makes your want to poke your eyes out, this list is for you!  Spice it up with one of these ideas:


skip counting hands chart

Skip Counting Hand Print Chart from Mrs. Arnold’s class

I love this colorful and concrete representation of skip counting by 5s.




skip counting with calculators

Skip Counting with Calculators from The First Grade Parade

Students type “2+2=” into their calculator and record the result.  Then they continue to type “+2=” and record the sequence that they generate.  Click through to Cara’s blog to pick up free printables for this activity.




skip counting hopscotch

Skip Counting Hopscotch from Playdough to Plato

A great way for kids to burn off extra energy and practice skip counting in a kinesthetic way!



skip counting cards

Skip Counting Cards by Activity Village

Mix the cards up and challenge students to put them back in order.  Click through for lots of other ideas and free printable cards.



skip counting activities

Color Patterns on a Hundreds Chart

Skip counting while coloring in numbers on a hundreds chart helps students visualize and internalize the patterns.  Make big versions to keep up on the wall.  You can use them when counting nickels, dimes, minutes on the clock, etc.  Click the link above to check out my skip counting hundreds chart activity in my TpT store.



counting routines

Counting Routines

This is a quick and easy number sense routine that you can throw in anywhere you have an extra few minutes.  Have your students stand in a circle.  Decide what number you’re starting with and what number you’re going to skip by.  Go around the circle with one student at a time saying a number.  Try counting forward and backward, starting and different numbers, and making different size skips.  Click the link to read about how to set the behavior expectation for this activity.



skip counting lacing plates

Skip Counting Lacing Plates from 123 Homeschool 4 Me

These skip counting lacing plates would make a great math center activity.  Click through to see how the plates are made to be self-checking on the back side.

skip counting chart

Connect to Time and Money

Give meaning and purpose to skip counting by connecting it to real life applications.  Counting by 15s and 25s is not in the Common Core math standards but both skills are useful and worth your time to address.  Click the link or the picture to get this anchor chart for FREE.


skip counting computer game

Number Bubble Computer Game from ABCya

In this simple computer game, kids fill in a skip counting number line by popping bubbles with the correct number.  In bonus rounds, kids pop number bubbles in the correct order.


Mr. R’s Skip Counting Songs

It’s amazing how songs can help kids remember things when nothing else works!  Mr. R has lots of songs for skip counting patterns.



skip counting books

Skip Counting Books

*How Many Feet in the Bed? by: Diane Johnston Hamm – Counting feet by 2 as more family members get in bed.


*100th Day Worries by: Margery Cuyler – Jessica collects items 10 at a time for her class’s 100th day of school celebration.


*One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab by: April Pulley Sayre – Count the feet of things at the beach using skip counting.


*What Comes in 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s? by: Suzanne Aker – Lots of great examples of things that come in sets of 2, 3, and 4.


*One Hundred Hungry Ants by: Elinor J Pinczes – One hundred ants traveling to a picnic decide to would be faster to march in two rows of fifty, then four rows of twenty-five and other arrangements.

*Toasty Toes by: Michael Dahl – Counting toes on the beach by 10.


*Spunky Monkeys on Parade by: Stuart J Murphy – Count monkeys by 2, 3, and 4 as the parade goes by.

*Leaping Lizards by: Stuart J Murphy – Lizards arrive for a show in groups of five and ten.



Skip Counting Mazes from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Use skip counting to color the correct squares and get the rabbit to the carrots.  Click the link to download several versions for FREE.


skip counting dot to dots

Skip Counting Dot to Dots

Try a freebie HERE, or the full product HERE

I’ve never seen students so excited to practice math as when I first used a skip counting dot-to-dot.  These were a favorite with my 2nd graders.




Skip Counting Pattern Shapes from Kids Activities Blog

Write the numbers from zero to nine in a circle on the ground or a piece of paper.  Start at zero and connect the numbers as you skip count.  In the picture above the girl is skip counting by two.  After the number eight she connects the line back to zero because zero is in the one’s place of the number 10.  Kids keep tracing around the shape and the number they land on gives them the one’s place they need.  Click through to get a FREE printable.




Skip Counting Puzzles from Life Over Cs

Kids put the strips in order using skip counting to make a winter themed picture.  Click through to download four winter-themed skip counting puzzles for free.



Phew!  That’s a lot of great ideas!  I hope you found something useful!  For more great math ideas, follow along on Pinterest:

Follow Hannah @ The Classroom Key’s board Math on Pinterest.

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Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun is a former teacher with 8 years of experience in the classroom and a master's degree in early childhood education. She designs engaging, organized classroom resources for 1st-3rd grade teachers.


  1. Some great ideas here. I especially like your skip counting by 2s. That’s what we’re working on right now in grade 1.
    Thank you!

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