5 Easy Counting Games You Can Play All Year to Boost Number Sense - Elementary Education

5 Easy Counting Games You Can Play All Year to Boost Number Sense

Do your kids love counting games? Mine sure do! In fact, they would probably play them all day if they could. Luckily, there are plenty of counting games that can be enjoyed all year round. In this blog post, we will discuss some of our favorites. We will also provide links to printable versions of these games so that you can enjoy them with your students too!

counting games featured image - title with Abacus in the background

Counting Game #1: Counting Dots

First on our list is the classic game of counting dots. This can be played with any age group and only requires a few materials. All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. To play, simply draw a bunch of dots on the paper. The number of dots can be different each time you play. Once the dots are drawn, take turns counting them out loud. The first person to reach the end of the dots is the winner!

Counting Games Kids Love #2: Counting Coins

If you are looking for a counting game that is a little more challenging, try Counting Coins. This game can be played with two or more players and requires a bit of preparation beforehand. First, you will need to gather a bunch of coins. You can use whatever type of coin you have available. Once you have your coins, decide on a starting amount. This can be any number between one and ten. The player who starts first will then take turns counting out loud, adding more coins each time. The goal is to reach the starting amount without going over. If you go over, you lose! The first player to reach the starting amount wins the game.

Counting Games Kids Love #3: Hopscotch

Looking for a counting game that can be enjoyed outdoors? Try Hopscotch! This classic game is a great way to get kids moving while practicing their counting skills. To play, start by drawing a hopscotch board on the ground. You can use chalk or tape to create your board. Once the board is created, take turns tossing a small object onto the board. The goal is to land the object on one of the numbered squares. After each turn, players must hop on one foot to the square where their object landed. They then pick up the object and continue counting until they reach the end of the board. The first player to finish is the winner!

Counting Games Kids Love #4: Nature Counting

Another counting game that can be played outdoors is Nature Counting. This game is perfect for a nature walk or hike. To play, simply have each player find objects in nature to count. This could be leaves, rocks, sticks, flowers, etc. Players can also count animals that they see along the way. The goal is to see who can find the most things to count. This is a great way to get kids excited about counting and nature!

Counting Games Kids Love #5: Number Sense Knockout

Finally, my all-time favorite counting game is Knockout. Knockout is a game played between two even size teams in any classroom. The game is best play to the whole class but can also be played in small groups. Two teams line up facing the Whiteboard and the two players at the beginning of the lines face off to answer the question on the slide correctly first. The player who answers correctly first gets to stay in the game and return to the end of their line and the person who answers correctly second or doesn’t answer correctly is out. I go into greater detail in this blog post I wrote about the rules of Knockout (it even features a how-to video starring Goldfish crackers as students because privacy 🙃 ).

Now this game is great for early ages especially because once players are out there’s always a chance they can come back in, with slide like Pick a Pal or Free Pass. This game can be played with any skills and I’ve actually created a ton of games for pretty much any math skill or reading skill you could think of. It’s especially helpful for teaching common year-long tasks like number sense and Counting and comparing numbers, because it’s a different way of looking at the same skill students have been practicing all year long. Best of all, it’s super fun for students and usually they don’t even realize that they are doing something learning related. In fact, the most common feedback I get about Knockout is that students beg to play it all day everyday. 

If you’d like to give it a shot, this number sense Knockout game collection is *literally* the best counting game ever.

You can grab a free counting Knockout game here:

Do you have a favorite counting game? Share it with us in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out the entire Knockout Inventory for endless fun:


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