Kindergartners need to count to 100 by ones and 10s by the end of the school year, according to the Common Core State Standards. Playing games is an entertaining way for kindergarteners to practice these counting skills. A mix of whole-group and small-group activities gives you variety when teaching your kindergarteners this skill.
Ball Toss Counting
This group game keeps kindergartners on their toes as they listen to their classmates counting. Decide if you will count by ones or 10s for this activity. All students stand in a circle. One person starts with a ball and says the first number. As she says the number, she tosses the ball to another student. That student says the next number and tosses the ball again. Continue until you reach 100. If your students master these methods of counting to 100, you can try more advanced skip counting by twos or fives.
Hundreds Chart Fill-in
Using a hundreds chart improves number recognition in addition to counting skills. Each child needs a copy of a hundreds chart -- a 10-by-10-inch grid with numbers from one to 100 each in a square. Play in pairs or small groups. Students take turns rolling a die. Starting at one, the child fills in the number rolled. If he rolled a six on his first turn, he colors in boxes one through six. On his next turn, he might roll a three, so he would fill in boxes seven, eight and nine. Students should say the numbers in the boxes as they fill them in to practice counting. The first student to reach 100 wins the game.
To fulfill the Common Core standard of counting to 100 by 10s, head outdoors to play hopscotch. A traditional hopscotch board with 10 squares works for this activity. Instead of writing one through 10 in the squares, write 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100. Make several hopscotch boards so you can divide the class into smaller groups. Kindergarteners take turns tossing rocks to each square just as they do for traditional hopscotch. As they hop down the board, have them call out the numbers to practice counting to 100 by 10s.
Number search activities help kindergartners recognize numbers and put them in the correct order. Display the numbers from one to 100 in a large space, such as the classroom, gym or playground. On the playground, you can write the numbers with sidewalk chalk. Indoors use index cards or construction paper. The kindergartners start by finding number one and continue finding each number until they get to 100. The Common Core standard also says kindergartners should be able to start counting from any number and continue to 100, so you can assign each child a different number as a starting point and have her continue from there to find the rest of the numbers to 100. For a quiet desk activity, provide each child with a paper that has the numbers one to 100 scattered randomly on the page. Students color or circle each number as they find it, starting with one and going to 100.