Skip Counting by 10s

by Laurie Laurendeau on March 1, 2011

Many of us have fond memories of chanting our numbers in school. Echoes of “10, 20, 30, 40 …. ” still sing-song through our minds at times. This skill is called skip counting, and it is a fundamental concept taught in the elementary years. Skip counting is a fun and easy kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade math strategy to practice at home with your child.

What Is It?

• Skip counting is counting by a certain number at regular intervals.

• Skip counting by 10s is usually the first type of skip counting that is taught (followed by the 5s and finally the 2s).

Kindergarten/First Grade: Count by 10s, beginning on the number 10.

• In 2nd grade, teachers will extend this by practicing the following skills:

-Counting by 10’s beginning on other numbers such as 7, 17, 27, 37….

-Counting backwards by 10s from 100 (100, 90, 80, 70…).

-Counting backwards by 10s on other numbers (96, 86, 76, 66…).

• Skip Counting by 10s is important for Math Facts, counting dimes, graphing, measuring with a metric ruler, multiples and patterning, just to name a few things.


• Use a 100s Board. Have your child place small objects like bingo chips, pennies or buttons on the 10s as he counts by 10s. Point out the pattern on the 100s Board (all the numbers down the same column should have a bingo chip on them).

• Give your child a box of Popsicle sticks or straws and some rubber bands. Ask him to count out 10 items and wrap a rubber band around the bunch of 10. Make as many bunches of 10 as possible. Ask your child to count them (by 10s of course!). Point out how much faster it is to count by 10s.

2nd Graders: On an analog clock, have your child count by 10 minute intervals around the clock. Say a time aloud (for example: 4:20 or 6:50) and see how quickly your child can point to the number that the minute hand would point to (for 6:50 your child should point at the 10).

2nd Graders: On a centimeter ruler, point out that the little lines are called millimeters. Ask your child to count how many millimeters are in one centimeter (10). Ask your child to tell you how many millimeters are in various centimeter measurements (example: “How many millimeters are in 4 cm? Answer: 40 mm).

2nd Graders: Give your child various number patterns on paper or on a white board that require skip counting by 10s. Ex: 27, ____, _____, 57 OR 90, 80, ____, _____, 50. Have them fill in the blanks.

Want More?

• Have questions or ideas about this story?

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Skip Counting by 5s

Skip Counting by 2s

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