Counting is cool!

4 - 6 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Small girl counting with her fingers

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Foundation Year curriculum include:

  • knowing the sequence of counting numbers and working out how many are in a group of objects
  • counting forwards and backwards, to and from 10, then 20, then beyond
  • saying the number that comes before or after a given number
  • starting counting from any number.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Play counting games 

Books, nursery rhymes and songs are a great way to familiarise your child with the basics of counting. If your child is ready, take it to the next level by using games that give practice at:

  • counting forwards and backwards
  • identifying missing numbers
  • ‘reading’ how many objects are in a group (without counting one by one).

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • create a sequence of cards (1 to 10), remove one card, show the remaining cards to your child and ask them which card you have
  • pick a number and challenge your child to name the number that comes before it, and the number that comes after it
  • when that’s easy, pick a number and ask your child to count from that number up to 10 (or 20, or 100), and then backwards down to zero
  • play games with dice, and encourage your child to read the number on the dice without counting the dots
  • count things you see around you – pieces of fruit, steps on the staircase, windows on the bus
  • challenge your child to guess a quantity that they can easily check – how many steps it is to the mailbox, or how many books are on the shelf. Then check by counting together, or listening to your child count (make sure they say each numeral and reach the correct answer).

Go online

For online reinforcement, Cool ways to count 1 to 5 will give your child practice at:

  • learning the numbers 1 to 5.

Number trains will give your child practice at:

  • making sequences counting by ones
  • skip counting by twos, fives and tens.



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Last modified
7 April 2020