Engaging and hands-on kindergarten counting activities for the kindergarten classroom. These math activities are great for developing counting skills, number recognition, and one-to-one correspondence. Add these number activities to your math centers and small groups to develop strong number sense in your young learners.
Kindergarten Counting Activities and IDeas
In kindergarten, you never know how many students will walk through your door on that first day of school with absolutely zero number sense OR how many already have a solid foundation. Counting is one of the very first math skills, and such an important math skill to develop, that we begin working on during those first days of school. Our objective is to come up with fun ideas and quality number games and activities that our kindergarten students will love. Here are 25 kindergarten counting activities that are great for your little learners to develop this oh-so-important skill. Keep a lookout for a couple of free activities throughout the post!
#1 Match It
This fun activity is intended to be played with a partner. Partner A pulls a number card from a bag and builds a tower using unifix cubes to represent the number. Partner B then builds a tower that matches the tower built by Partner A. Then Partner B draws a number card and starts the process again. During this activity, I encourage you to observe and support appropriate math talk. You may ask questions like, Why is this the same? and How do you know?
Instead of unifix cubes, these friends are using shapes. Any manipulatives will work!
#2 Counting Bingo
Provide students with a bingo card that has a number of objects in each square. Pull out a number card and announce the number or show students the number card. (This is where you can differentiate based on the needs of your students.) Students then find a box that has the correct number of objects.
#3 Creating Number Trains
These kindergarten friends are working together to create number trains.
Work on those fine motor skills while practicing counting and number sequence, too! Provide students with images to cut apart. Students then cut and glue to create their number trains on a large sheet of paper. This is a great way to practice counting and add some thematic fun depending on the time of year. For example, using school buses, pumpkins, leaves, etc.
#4 Sorting Number Cards
A super simple activity where students match a set of number cards.
#5 Counting Bears
In this counting activity, students pull out a handful of counting bears from a bag and practice counting by touching and scooting each bear. Here is that one-to-one correspondence practice! They can then match a number card to show how many. I also like to add a ten frame for students to use to represent each number and also assist in keeping their bears organized for easier counting. Tip: If students are only working on counting up to 10, make sure to only include that many manipulatives in the bag.
#6 Counting Board Games
These board games are great for practicing basic skills during math centers.
Check out the various game boards to practice counting here:
You can snag a free printable board game for Summer by clicking here!
#7 Count the Beans
Add a spinner to provide an extra fun way for practicing counting objects. You can easily have students practice higher numbers by changing the numbers on the spinner. I also like to provide a ten frame for this activity, or multiple ten frames if needed for larger numbers, to keep the beans organized.
#8 Ten Frame Fun
Are you starting to see a pattern with ten frames? They are a fantastic resource to use when teaching various math concepts. This is another partner game. Partner A rolls a dice and counts out that many cubes onto their ten frame. Partner B takes a turn rolling the dice and add that many cubes to their own ten frame. They continue playing until both ten frames are filled.
#9 What is Missing?
Another partner game… games are the best ways to provide great practice! Partner A lays out number cards in numerical order. Partner B closes their eyes while Partner A takes away one of the number cards. Partner B then opens their eyes and counts to discover the missing number that was taken away. So much fun and such little prep!
#10 Match Me Plus 1
This game is similar to the first activity I shared called Match It. However, in this game students practice counting on by adding 1 extra cube to their tower.
#11 Mix It, Fix It, Flip It
For this math activity, you will need to do a little prep to prepare the number cards. (They are also available for easy printing in our math curriculum unit that you can find by clicking, here.) These number cards have a single number on one side and the same number of dots on the other side. Students scatter their cards (mix it) with the number side showing. They will “fix it” by putting the cards in the correct order. Then they will “flip” the cards over so all the dots are showing and will play again.
#12 Class Counting Book
A fun, classroom community activity to practice counting. Each student is given a piece of paper to draw objects to represent a given number. Add the completed book to your classroom library for students to read and practice counting!
The number line is intentionally left blank so you can easily differentiate this book to meet the needs of your classroom. Simply add in the number or tell students a number when beginning the activity. You can download this classroom counting book for free at the end of this blog post!
Graphs are a great way to practice counting. There are multiple graphing worksheets available or you can make your own. Click here to snag a set of 10 for $1 in my blog store.
#14 Collecting Eggs
This is a fun one and the best part is you can use household items and it won’t cost a thing! Break out the plastic eggs from Easter storage, roll up a brown paper bag, and hold onto an egg carton instead of recycling to have a fun counting game for your students. Students can roll two dice and count out the correct number of eggs and place them in the egg carton. You can also cut off two spots from the egg carton to resemble a ten frame. You’ll just want to use one die or a spinner instead that only goes up to 10.
#15 Counting On Cups
Using plastic cups and counters or any small manipulatives, you can easily create a fun counting game. Say a number or have students draw a number card and have them count out that many manipulatives into their cups. Then they pull out another card and place that number of manipulatives in front of them on the floor or table. When students are ready to count on, they say the number of manipulatives that is in their cup and then count on as they drop each additional object in.
#16 Counting Number Puzzles
Number puzzles are great hands-on activities! These simple-cut puzzles are a lot of fun and perfect for morning work, math centers, or early-finisher activities.
These simple counting puzzles and numeral handwriting practice can be found here:
#17 Counting Songs
Counting songs are great for practicing rote counting. Here are two good ones for practicing counting to 100.
This one is super catchy! It’s a fun song for practicing counting objects to 10.
#18 Counting Books
Just like counting songs, counting books are another fun way to get exposure to counting. In addition to reading counting books aloud to students, you can also use counting books as a way to incorporate additional fun counting activities into your day. Every Buddy Counts is a great counting book. Plus, there are some fun center activities for students.
Fun centers for Every Buddy Counts can be found here:
#19 Counting with Play Dough
Students can practice making the number out of play dough to practice numeral identification. You can also have students make balls of dough to count and represent each number.
Counting with dough cards from our small-group math bundle.
Play dough can also be used for practicing different shapes and basic operations, too! So much math fun!
#20 Counting with Pom Poms
Have students roll a dice and drop that number of pom poms into a cup.
#21 Story-Telling with Counting
Kindergarten kids love story-telling! They can have fun re-creating the story using math manipulatives. Mini erasers from the dollar store are perfect! You can also use these story boards with printable manipulatives for counting.
#22 Boom Cards
If you have student devices, you can assign Boom cards for fun counting practice. Here are a few of my favorite Boom decks for counting:
You can find Boom Cards for counting by clicking this link:
#23 Counting Craft
Who doesn’t love a craft? This bug counting craft is simple and perfect for your kindergarten friends. You could easily add circles to practice counting to a higher number.
#24 Playing Cards
Grab a deck of cards for a fun game for partners. Each student draws a card and represents the number using manipulatives (blocks, erasers, etc.) The student with the higher number(or lower) wins that round.
You can also practice greater than and less than with playing cards.
Using daubers is a fun way to practice counting. Students roll a die or draw a number from a cup and use their dauber to represent that number on paper. You could easily have students practice pattern recognition and creation with this activity as well by using different colors.
There are so many fun ways to practice counting! Several of the activities and ideas from this list come from our whole-group math curriculum. These units provide daily activities and lessons for kindergarten and first grade. You can find those resources by clicking the links below:
We also have a set of small-group math activities that are great for math interventions! You can find the set that provides small-group activities for practicing numbers up to 30 here:
Kindergarten Counting Activities Free File
Snag this free classroom counting book! Simply add your name and email address to the boxes below and click submit.