Most of you can count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, but how many of you can count by 3s, 7s, or 11s?
Even though I flunked out of math in high school, my kids were great in math. Why? Because I threw out the math books and insisted they learn each basic skill well before they moved on. No addition until they could count to 100, no subtraction until they could add a column of three four-digit numbers. We worked on subtraction until they could subtract three-digit numbers from four-digit numbers. Then before we worked on multiplication, we learned to skip count. I insisted they learn to skip count 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s before I introduced 2 x 2 = 4 and then continued all the way up to 15s before we were through. Skip counting is fun and gives a child a firm foundation to figure out multiplication problems they haven’t memorized.
Here are three hands-on ways to have fun learning skip counting!
Create necklaces that have sets of beads separated by a different color and shaped bead.
Have your child start skip counting by holding and counting the beads that are the same, but just moving the different beads. Then have her whisper “1” and shout “2”, whisper “3” and shout “4”, and so on. Once she has that down, have her just say “2”, “4” … while fingering the beads. When she can do that quickly, have her go backward.
My kids, both boys and girls, love these necklaces and wear them constantly while they are learning. We make them for all the smaller skip counting numbers. They get a little big when you get up into the 11s and 12s though 🙂
Play Flip It!
To make this game, create a board with 15-20 squares. Then make cards just a little smaller than your squares for the count-bys your child is learning. Mix up the cards and place them on the table. Start out by flipping the cards over and placing them in the correct square. Show your child how to place his finger on each square and count by the number to find the correct square. When he is really good at it, you can make 2 sets of cards (each a different color) and play a Tic-tac-toe like game. Each person takes turns flipping one card and placing it on the board. If one person fills a row, up or down with his color cards, he is the winner. If you play until the board is full without anyone getting a row filled up, the game is tied.
Another thing my kids absolutely loved was jumping on the mini-tramp to skip counting rap. You can find lots of these songs on Youtube. Just search for “skip counting rap”. Here’s a link to a 7s rap!
Have fun and don’t push it! It may seem slow at first, but five to ten minutes a day is all you need to get your child ready to multiply. Once they get the first few skips down, they will pick up the rest pretty quick.
Hope this helps!
God Bless You All!
~ Grama Sue