How to Teach Skip Counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s

skip counting worksheets

Skip counting is counting forward or backward by a number other than 1.  You "skip over" numbers when counting.

So how do you teach your students to skip count?  After they have mastered counting forward and backward by 1's, you can begin!

You can start with any number you like, but sometimes it is easier to begin with counting by 10's.  If you are counting from 0 to 100 there are only ten numbers students need to know.

Counting by 10's

When you start to teach skip counting, visuals are very useful!  You can use hundreds charts, numbers lines, and objects to help students understand.

For counting by 10's, you could have groups of marbles, cubes, or popsicle sticks in groups of 10 laid out on the desk.  First have all 100 objects together and then ask students to count them.  See how long it takes.

Then arrange the objects into groups of 10.  Have students count again by 10's and see how long it takes!


Counting by 5's

When skip counting by 5's, students can use their hands as there are five fingers on each hand.

Have a group of 10 students stand up in front of the class holding up their hands.  Count all the hands together by 5's to 100.

skip counting by 5

Number lines are also great for students to count on.  If you don't have number lines, they can start by counting on their rulers. Make up some simple number sequences and have them fill in the missing numbers!  To make things easier, you may want to check out these premade partial number lines below!

skip counting on number lines


Counting by 2's

Counting by 2's to 100 will take longer as the numbers of objects in each group will be smaller.  You can still use objects as a visual.  For example, you can take 100 pencils and have students count them by making groups of 2.

Students will also be able to see the number patterns on a hundreds chart.  Have them color every other square to count by twos.

hundreds chart


Use Exit Tickets

skip counting task cards

Use task cards or exit tickets at the end of your math period to have students show what they have learned!  If you don't have these on hand you can simply give them a starting point to count from and tell them which number to end at.


Many of these activities can be found in my Skip Counting Activities Bundle below!

skip counting activity bundle