These free, printable counting worksheets are a fun way for your child to improve their number recognition and counting ability.
Is your child ready?
One-to-one correspondence – the notion that each number represents a real object – is not an easy skill to develop. Children go through a stage where they do not grasp that each number needs to be assigned to an actual object when counting – and while they may point to objects as they count, their counting will be out of synch with their finger.
If your child has not yet acquired this skill these worksheets might be a bit too hard and you may wish to try these two steps first:
- One-to-one correspondence will develop naturally but counting with real objects is a good way to help children move towards this stage – whether it be blocks or balls or beads on an abacus – the act of moving the object helps the child understand each ‘thing’ is represented by a different number.
- Repetitive practice, where the end result is always the same number, can also help. You may wish to print off and use our preschool number activities which provide this. Once your child outgrows the free worksheets on that page they are ready for today’s counting worksheets.
How to use these worksheets
- Make sure you approach the worksheets with enthusiasm and excitement. Many of us have negative memories of worksheets from school – push any such memories to the back of your mind!
- Starting with the first (and simplest) page, it is a good idea to demonstrate how to count the objects for your child. Do this nice and slowly, making sure that you point clearly at each object. Initially, you may wish to cut the individual objects out to give your child further practice counting concrete materials.
- Depending on how quickly your child picks it up, you may wish to give them a go on their own, or maybe encourage them to chime in counting at the same time as you.
- It is important that you do not show any frustration or disappointment if your child struggles with the counting. Keep on making it a fun, happy experience – and if they still don’t pick it up, maybe put the worksheets away and try them again another day. If your child feels under pressure or that they have disappointed you, they will immediately start to dislike the exercises – and counting in general – and this is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve!
Kids often count objects in a random order – leading to them forgetting which ones they have counted and which ones they haven’t.
Again, this is completely normal. You will see that some of the object groups are assembled in a neat, ordered way while others are more random – in the early stages the ordered groups will prove easier for your child to count.
Over time they will learn to count in a more logical manner. You can assist them by leading by example and by encouraging them to have another go when they get the wrong answer. And for the objects grouped randomly a good idea is to show them how to cross each item out as it is counted.
- Counting is obviously a fundamental and essential mathematical skill in its own right.
- Practicing with these worksheets will enhance a child’s ability to ‘subitize’ – to instantly know how many objects are in a small group without needing to count them. Possession of this skill results in faster counting – and speed is a huge asset in mathematics.
- Accurate counting is an important precursor to the next stages of numeracy – addition and subtraction. Board games can be a fun way to begin this next step, especially ones involving dice – one game we have had a lot of success with ourselves is snakes and ladders.
Don’t forget to take advantages of all the opportunities that life will throw up to practice counting. Whether it be counting apples at the supermarket, cars on the road or cupcakes that you have baked, counting opportunities are all around!
This activity gives your child opportunities to practice counting to numbers up to six.
This activity gives your child opportunities to practice counting to numbers up to eight.
This activity gives your child opportunities to practice counting to numbers up to nine.
This counting worksheet has a Halloween theme.
This one has a Thanksgiving theme.
And this one has a Christmas theme.
This worksheet gives your child practice identifying various items to be counted.