20 Skip Counting Games to Play at Home

A quick and easy way to introduce your student to the basics of multiplication.

Author
Chal Emery

Expert Reviewer

Last updated: May 25, 2023

20 Skip Counting Games to Play at Home

A quick and easy way to introduce your student to the basics of multiplication.

Author
Chal Emery

Expert Reviewer

Published: August 23, 2023

20 Skip Counting Games to Play at Home

A quick and easy way to introduce your student to the basics of multiplication.

Author
Chal Emery

Expert Reviewer

Last updated: August 23, 2023

Key takeaways

• Skip counting is easy and efficient – Skip counting is a simple way to teach your student how to advance their counting skills. It helps learners identify patterns between numbers and count more effectively.
• Skip counting is a foundation for multiplication – Skip counting teaches students how to solve multiplication problems using addition. Once your child learns how to skip count, they can easily discover how to solve multiplication problems that might otherwise stump them.
• There are a plethora of different activities to help with skip counting – There are all kinds of fun skip counting games to try! This article contains twenty different activities for your student to engage with that are both fun and creative.

Today, we’re going to be discussing the basics behind skip counting, a fun variation on basic counting which your student has already seen on their math journey. Skip counting follows the same basic idea that regular counting does—adding numbers by the same value over and over again.

But instead of repeatedly adding by one, skip counting means we’ll be skipping a few numbers in the process and adding by twos, by threes, by fours, and so on. By mastering this skill, we can begin to learn the basics behind repeated addition, and later multiplication. Think of skip counting as an easier, faster way to add up numbers of larger values.

What is skip counting?

Skip counting is a tool we use when we want to stop adding numbers by one over and over again, and start skipping a few numbers in between so we can save some time. A good example would be adding up numbers by four, such as 4 + 4 + 4 + 4.

In this expression, we’ll be skipping the addition of numbers like 1, 2, and 3, and just adding the value of 4. This is the next step in mastering the practice of counting, and making the whole process a lot easier – and maybe even more fun – for ourselves.

Why skip counting is important

Skip counting is an important tool for learning the foundations behind repeated addition, and later multiplication. By understanding that we can add up repeated values even greater than one, we can begin to understand how this repeated addition is actually just another way to multiply numbers. Consider the following expression:

9 + 9 + 9

In the expression above, we’re adding 9 three separate times. By doing this, we’re skipping all the numbers less than 9, and adding 9 by itself instead. We can also express this through the multiplication equation 9 3, where nine is also added to itself three different times. By mastering skip counting, we give ourselves a tool for solving harder multiplication problems.

As your child learns more about skip counting, they will likely want to put their skills to the test!

Here are 20 skip counting games and skip counting activities to help your student practice at home.

One fun way of introducing your student to skip counting is by showing them some skip counting picture books. Students can enjoy the practice of skip counting a bit more, so long as they’re a bit more entertained by the images, activities and problems they’re being asked to solve. And with a wide variety of different books to choose from, you can use a different book to practice every week!

2. Paper plate lacing

Paper plate lacing is a fun, easy way to keep your student engaged while they learn how to skip count. All you need is a paper plate, some permanent markers, and some paper clips and you’ll be ready to have an interactive skip counting experience.

3. Skip counting hopscotch

Hopscotch can be a great way to get your kid outside while also having them practice their skip counting skills. Simply draw a hopscotch board on your driveway, and write down values in each of the squares your child can use to skip count as they play. This is a fun, easy way of getting your child to learn and exercise.

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4. Skip count with coins

Kill two birds with one stone when you teach your student to skip count with different coins. Have them collect coins around the house, or maybe give them a few yourself, and see if your child can begin to skip count using what they’ve found. Just make sure that they’re only skip counting with coins of the same type, like all quarters, all dimes, or all nickels. At the end of the day, you’ll have helped them practice skip counting and taught them about the value of money.

You can even let them keep the money as a fun reward for their hard work!

5. Make a skip counting caterpillar

For students who have a passion for these crawling critters, have them draw a picture of a caterpillar, or print one off the internet, and write down different numerical values in each of the caterpillar’s circles. Just make sure these values increase by the same amount with each circle, and you’ll have your child practicing skip counting with one of their favorite insects.

6. Skip count with LEGOs

Does your student love to play and build with their favorite LEGO sets? Well, it might be a good idea to introduce skip counting by having them group their LEGOs into different groups of equal sizes.

This way, they can learn to categorize their LEGOs into different groupings, and count out just how many they have in each of their different collections as well.

8. Skip counting card game

You can also use a deck of cards to help your child practice skip counting. Have them sort out each of the cards in the deck, and see if they can develop a skip pattern between the different number values on each card. This is another fun and easy way to get your child started with understanding the process of skip counting. Just make sure you define the values of the face cards so they know how to continue counting with these cards even after 10.

9. Skip counting drawings and patterns

If your child is more artistic and likes to draw, then skip counting drawings might be the way to go. Have them go outside with a piece of chalk, or stay inside and draw with markers or crayons as they create shapes and images they can skip count with.

This is a great way to stimulate your student’s creative side while also allowing them to practice these important math skills.

10. Turn board games into skip counting board games

Board games are another great, interactive way to introduce your child to skip counting. Take their favorite board game, and have them skip count as they move their board piece across the set. This will give them a chance to play a fun game and skip count while they’re doing it.

Just remember to remind them to change the amount they’re skipping by if it ever gets too easy or mundane for them.

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11. Skip counting racing game

Another fun way for your child to learn how to skip count is by drawing them a racetrack to play with. Draw circles all along the track, and have your student move their racecar from circle to circle while they skip count.

By the end of the race, they should have a good grasp over what skip counting is and why it’s so useful for addition.

12. Fill the board using skip counting

This idea is a bit more interactive, but is another great way for students to learn the basics behind skip counting. Draw out a large array of small boxes, and write down various different numbers at random in each of these boxes. These numbers should increase by the same number every time so your child can use skip counting to fill in the missing values. This will be a long process, so you can make the board smaller depending on how much time you want your student to spend skip counting with a specific value.

13. Skip count to escape the maze

This activity is similar to the one we just mentioned, but involves drawing your board as a maze that your student will try to escape from! This is a good way to make the activity even more engaging while your student practices their skills. Place the entrance at the beginning of where you want your student to start skip counting, with the exit located at the last number of the skip counting sequence. See how quickly they can escape the maze!

14. Skip counting with money

You can also help your student learn how to skip count with different kinds of bills. Give them a few five dollar bills and see if they’re able to use skip counting to find the sum of all the bills. Or if you want to up the ante, you can give them tens to count with, and so on. Just make sure you get your money back at the end of the activity!

15. Skip count with dice

Have your student roll dice to decide what number they’ll be skip counting with. This can work with numbers all the way up to 12, and it’s a quick, easy way to get your child to practice their skip counting skills.

Bring a pair of dice on the go and have your child practice skip counting wherever they go, just make sure they don’t get too burnt out!

16. Practice with groups

Collect different objects or items around the house and put them into groups of the same value. Then have your child add up the total number of objects they have using skip counting.

This is an easy way to get your child skip counting using things around the house, using anything from clothing items to toy cars to pillows.

17. Skip counting using shapes

Print off a worksheet of a specific shape—squares, triangles, or circles—and cut them out for your child to use. They can then group these shapes into groups of equal values and use skip counting to try and add them all together. This is a good way to familiarize your learner with different shapes while also allowing them to practice skip counting at the same time.

18. Make a skip counting centipede

Draw a centipede out on a piece of paper and write down different numbers on each of the centipede’s body parts. Make sure each of the body parts increase in number by the same amount, and maybe leave a few of these body parts blank so that your student can fill them out.

This will force them to identify the pattern between each of the numbers using skip counting.

19. Use clothespins to visualize skip counting

Attach clothespins to a measuring tape, making sure there’s an equal space between each of these clothespins. This will form a pattern along the measuring tape that your student can skip count with.

These clothespins can be separated by values of two, three, four, five and so on, whatever value you want your student to practice their counting with. This is another quick and easy way to give your student a visual to practice skip counting with.

20. Make skip counting kites

This is a fun way to combine arts and crafts with skip counting. Sit down with your student and design your very own styles of kites, and write down sequential numbers on each of them.

These values can increase by ten, twenty or thirty, just make sure there is a definable pattern in place for your student to practice with. They can use these kites to practice their skip counting with a pretty visual!

We understand that diving into new information can sometimes be overwhelming, and questions often arise. That’s why we’ve meticulously crafted these FAQs, based on real questions from students and parents. We’ve got you covered!

The best skip counting games for elementary schoolers are carefully designed to make learning fun and effective. These games use engaging visuals, interactive elements, and age-appropriate challenges to keep young students motivated and interested in math.

By reinforcing skip counting patterns in a playful and entertaining way, these games help students develop strong numerical fluency, better grasp multiplication concepts, and build a solid foundation for more advanced math skills.

Skip counting games are specifically crafted to transform math learning into an enjoyable and engaging experience for young students. Through colorful graphics, cheerful characters, and interactive gameplay, these games create a positive learning environment that encourages active participation.

By incorporating rewards, achievements, and progress tracking, skip counting games promote a sense of accomplishment and motivation, which ultimately helps children develop a positive attitude towards mathematics.

Teaching skip counting to elementary school children becomes a delightful adventure with creative and interactive games. One popular approach is using catchy songs or rhymes that emphasize skip counting patterns, helping kids memorize numbers effortlessly.

Additionally, interactive games on digital platforms offer opportunities for hands-on learning, where children can drag and drop objects to practice skip counting in a playful setting. By incorporating storytelling elements and challenges, these games keep young learners captivated while mastering skip counting skills.

Skip counting games align seamlessly with the elementary school curriculum, supporting the learning objectives set by educational standards. These games are designed with consideration of age-appropriate content, providing an ideal supplement to classroom teachings.

By engaging in skip counting games, students develop essential mathematical skills, such as number sense, multiplication mastery, and pattern recognition. These benefits contribute to improved problem-solving abilities, heightened confidence in mathematical abilities, and a smoother transition to more advanced math topics.

Lesson credits

Chal Emery

Chal Emery graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s in Global History and Political Science. Outside of writing, he enjoys long drives through spectacular country, hanging out with his friends, and spending time getting lost in a decent film or TV show.

Jill Padfield has 7 years of experience teaching high school mathematics, ranging from Alegra 1 to AP Calculas. She is currently working as a Business Analyst, working to improve services for Veterans while earning a masters degree in business administration.

Chal Emery

Chal Emery graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s in Global History and Political Science. Outside of writing, he enjoys long drives through spectacular country, hanging out with his friends, and spending time getting lost in a decent film or TV show.

Jill Padfield has 7 years of experience teaching high school mathematics, ranging from Alegra 1 to AP Calculas. She is currently working as a Business Analyst, working to improve services for Veterans while earning a masters degree in business administration.

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