Step One

Counting Forwards and Backwards


  • Chalk or tape to create a number line.

  • A drawn or printed number line.

  • Counters (cheerios, m&ms, blueberries, little erasers, poker chips etc. NOT coins)


  • Count forwards and backwards from 0-10
  • Count forwards and backwards from 0-20

Sing and count the numerals from 1-20 and from 20-0 using the tune “Mary had a Little Lamb”.

Create a number line on the floor with chalk or painters tape and have the child jump up and down the number line, jumping on each numeral. Start with a few numbers at a time and increase to 20 as the child shows proficiency.

Use a small number line on a piece of paper and have the child count up and down the numerals with their finger.

Lay out a small edible treat, counting up as the items are laid out, then count down as the items are eaten.

You could also use non edible items and remove them as you count down by putting them in a bowl, a dump truck or by feeding them to a toy.

You could lay the items on the numerals for the number line and eventually remove the number line completely.

By using this method you are showing the child that the amount that corresponds with a number (and a numeral) is complete. If the items are already laid out and you are asking a child to count them they may be confused when you point to one item and say this is 1, this is 2, this is 3, this is 4 etc. 4 is never a single item, it is 4 complete items.

Still yearning for some more ideas and fun ways to learning counting backwards? I highly recommend that you hop on over to Push Play Learning. She has YouTube playlist of math songs about counting backwards.
Make sure you check out her other playlists too. She makes it so easy to get a little free time while still creating a learning opportunity for your child.



  1. […] activities on counting outside of the push PLAY button, head on over to Little Man Logic.  She is doing a great series on Math Beyond Rote Counting, so subscribe to her blog to stay […]

  2. Sonya Post says:

    Thanks so much for this Wonderful. We are counting a lot and using ten frames. But I like all the number line ideas.

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