Are your kids struggling with learning their multiplication facts? The solution might be to learn skip counting songs! Through singing skip counting songs, your kids can successfully learn their times tables. Plus, download a FREE skip counting printables pack below.
What is Skip Counting
Skip counting is just counting forward by numbers other than one. By adding the same number each time to the previous number, you are learning the multiples of that number.
So, when you are skip counting by 3s, for example – 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 – you are saying the multiples of 3, which also happen to be the answers to the times tables for 3.
3: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30
3×1, 3×2, 3×3, 3×4, and so on
How Do You Explain Skip Counting to a Child?
The best way to explain skip counting to a child is to start with an anchor chart or visual.
Print out a 1-100 number chart and have them color in the squares as they skip count, or count forward, by 3s, or 4s, or whatever number you’re working with.
So, back to our skip counting by 3s example, with the number chart in front of your child, tell them to color in the square for 3. Now have them count forward 3 more squares. They should land on the number 6 and color that square. Then, count forward another 3 and color in the square for number 9, and so on.
Once your children understand the abstract mathematical concept of skip counting because they’ve engaged with it concretely on a number chart, then you can start to move toward memorization of skip counting.
Why is it Important to Skip Count?
Learning how to skip count is important because it will make learning the multiplication facts easier. It’s a great way to learn times tables in a more natural way. Instead of memorizing abstract multiplication facts, your children will be able to understand what they are doing – 4 groups of 6 is 24 because we understand skipping forward by 6 four times.
Skip counting also helps kids see number patterns. It is a foundational math fluency skill that builds number sense and will help your kids with more advanced math learning later on in their math education. Skip counting adds to fluency in calculation and is a great basis for learning multiplication and division.
When Should You Learn to Skip Count?
You will want your child to be confident in counting by ones from 1-100. Then, you can start to introduce skip counting.
The great thing is that even your young elementary kids can learn how to skip count! Kids don’t need to be working on multiplication facts to start learning this skill.
Most children should learn skip counting in second or third grade. But if you have younger children around while homeschooling older siblings, they might love learning the skip counting songs we’re sharing below!
How do You Practice Skip Counting?
Numbers 1-100 Chart – Have your child color in the square for each of the numbers while skip counting. So, when skip counting by 3, your child will color in 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and so on. Those numbers correlate to the multiplication facts for 3, such as 3×1, 3×2, 3×3, and so on. Talk to your child about any patterns they see.
Number Line – Print out a number line and show the jumping or skipping in action.
Skip Counting Games – You could create any number of games here to practice skip counting. Write each of the skip counting numbers on cards, mix them up, and see how quickly your child can put them in the right order.
Hopscotch – Write the skip counting numbers on an outdoor hopscotch and have them chant the numbers as they jump on each square.
Counting with Manipulatives – Grab the M&Ms and start grouping them together by whatever number you’re skip counting by. See if your child can count up the M&Ms quickly this way. Start with 2s. Can they count up to 20 M&Ms by 2s? Then move on the 3s, and so on. Show them how much faster it is to count this way when compared to counting by ones.
Songs – The most memorable way to learn and practice skip counting is by singing songs! Almost anything is easier to learn if you turn it into a chant or a song. Check out our renditions of the skip counting songs below. We’ve used them in our homeschool with five kids over the years. And they still remember them, even into high school and beyond!
Skip Counting Songs
Here are the skip counting songs we’ve used for each of these numbers. If you want to go from easiest to hardest, then start with counting by 2, then tens, then fives. Use the methods outlined above to help your child see how to skip count those multiples. We usually just “chanted” the 2s, 5s, and 10s instead of learning a song for them because they were simpler.
Then, move on to the other skip counting songs. If you’d like everything in one place, then sign up below for access to all the videos and printables together.
Skip Counting by 2
When we counted by 2s in our homeschool, we didn’t sing a song, although you certainly could put it to music. Instead, we just “chanted” in a rhythm 2, 4, 6, 8, and so on. The twos are usually easy enough once kids see the pattern. Talk about the pattern and be sure to have them color in the even numbers on a number chart! It will be 2, 4, 6, 8 on every line – including the 20s, 30s, etc.
Skip Counting by 3
Listen to this song for skip counting by 3.
Skip Counting by 4
Listen to this song for skip counting by 4.
Skip Counting by 5
You might want to learn skip counting by 10 first, then come back to the fives. It’s always helpful for your kids to see visually what’s happening, so be sure to download a number chart 1-100 and use that to mark all the multiples of 5. What is the pattern? Every number ending in a 5 or a 0 is a multiple of 5.
We don’t have a song for skip counting by 5s, but this one works well with “chanting” the numbers, just like with the 2s.
Practice counting by 5s with nickels. Set up a play store where all the prices are multiples of 5. Then have your child “buy” the items with their nickels. Help them count out the correct change.
Skip Counting by 6
Listen to this song for skip counting by 6.
Skip Counting by 7
Listen to this song for skip counting by 7.
Skip Counting by 8
Listen to this song for skip counting by 8
Skip Counting by 9
Listen to this song for skip counting by 9.
Skip Counting by 10
Help your kids see the pattern with skip counting by 10. It’s every number that ends with a zero. Help them “chant” the 10s in a rhythmic pattern instead of using a song. You can easily learn from 10-100 this way. Use the numbers 1-100 anchor chart so your kids can visually and concretely understand this abstract math concept.
Other ideas for skip counting by ten:
- Set out 10 dimes and help your kids count by 10.
- Dump out a bunch of M&Ms, Cheerios, or other small treat and show your kids how to group them in sets of ten and count by tens. Ask them to count out 30 items by 10s, or 50 items by 10s, etc.
- If you have math manipulatives that show 10 frames or bars of 10 ones, then use them to count by 10s until you reach 100.
Remember, if you want all the videos and printables in one place, sign up for access in this post.
Here are some more math resources for your homeschool.
- Learning Through Math Games & Manipulatives with Betsy Mays: Homeschool with Moxie Podcast #112
- Homeschool Math Help with Kate Snow: Homeschool with Moxie Podcast #63
- Homeschool Math without Anxiety: Homeschool with Moxie Podcast #57
- Iwako Erasers for Math Manipulatives + Free Printables
We’ve reviewed several different math programs in our homeschool. Here’s our opinion and experience with them.