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Whisper Counting

These activities will help your child to understand what we are doing when we skip count. Once your child becomes familiar with counting in steps they can use it to help with multiplication and division facts.

Rulers - 2s

You will need a ruler or a measuring tape or you can write the numbers along a strip of paper. Start by counting along the numbers saying each number as you tap it. This is counting in ones.

Count along the ruler again but this time model how to alternate between whispering the odd numbers and emphasising the even numbers e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and so on.

Repeat, but this time take turns to say the numbers. One person will whisper the odd numbers and the other person will say the even numbers using a loud voice. Then repeat so only the person counting in 2s says the numbers e.g. 2, 4, 6, 8 etc.

Cover the odd numbers using pegs and count along in steps of 2.

Fingers or Gloves - 5s and 10s

Using fingers or a row of gloves is a great way to model countning in 5s. Begin by counting each finger then repeat whispering 1, 2, 3, 4 then emphasising 5, whispering 6, 7, 8, 9 then emphasising 10, and so on.

Make a line using pairs of gloves and use them to help count in 10s. Whisper the non-multiples and say the multiples out loud.

100 Square

This grid contains the numbers from 1-100 and is a really good way to practise counting using other multiples. You could cover the numbers you don't need to count using counters e.g. coins and then say the numbers that are left in order or you could circle the multiples.

Download your printable copy below:

100 Square
Download PDF • 956KB

Counting in multiples is part of the National Curriculum in the UK. This is what is covered in each of the year groups.

Year 1:

  • count in multiples of twos, fives and tens

Year 2:

  • count in steps of 2, 3, and 5 from 0, and in tens from any number, forward and backward

Year 3:

  • count from 0 in multiples of 4, 8, 50 and 100

Year 4:

  • count in multiples of 6, 7, 9, 25 and 1000


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