Teaching Counting Numbers to Kindergarten Students

By Heather Marie Kosur

The following kindergarten lesson plan suggests books, discussion questions, activities, and games for teaching students in kindergarten about English numbers including the written numerals and the order of numbers.

Teaching Number Activities for Kindergarten

Number literacy is a fundamental skill that kindergarteners must master for success in their later math and science education. Students Numbers must be able to recognize and identify written numerals before learning basic math skills like addition and subtraction. This early elementary lesson plan outlines activities to teach kindergarten students about the written numerals as well as the order of numbers in English.

Discussion and Prior Knowledge

As a kindergarten teacher, you can introduce your students to written numerals by reviewing numbers. To begin the lesson on numbers, ask your class to count from zero to ten as a review of the English number system. All of your students should be able to proficiently say 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 in the correct order without skipping any numbers. If your kindergarteners cannot count from zero to ten, you should review numbers and counting before continuing with the rest of the lesson.


After the initial discussion, you can share some books about numbers and numerals with your kindergarten class. Two excellent titles recommended for five- and six-year-old students are:

Both books have colorful pictures of numbers and have only one or two simple sentences on each page. For example, Numbers begins with the question "How many numbers have you seen today?" and is surrounded by everyday number objects such as race cards, playing cards, birthday candles, and calculators.

The first book, Numbers, introduces kindergarten students to the written numeral. The second book, Number Puzzles, expands on the first book with fun games and activities for practicing using and writing numbers.

Number Activities for Kindergarten: Written Numerals Worksheet

Numeral 2 After reading the two books about numbers to your kindergartners, teach your students to write the first ten (0 to 9) numerals in English. The free download printable handout Number Tracing Worksheets for Kindergarten is a sample worksheet that teaches written numerals to young students through tracing. You may also write the numbers on the board and instruct your students to copy the numerals onto blank paper.

Number Order Activity

Number Flashcard The "Number Order" activity will help your kindergarten students to place written numerals in the correct order for counting numbers in English. The only materials needed for this number activity are number flashcards for the numerals zero through nine. Some printable sample flashcards are available for download at printable Number Flashcards. You can also have your students help make their own flashcards writing and decorating written numbers on large index cards. Then have each student place the flashcards in order from zero to nine (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). This activity teaches kindergarteners to place written numbers in the correct order for counting in English.

Number Activities for Kindergarten: Out of Order Numbers Game

Out of Order Numbers The "Out of Order Numbers" game will help your kindergarten students to recognize when written numbers are out of order. You can use the same number flashcards from the "Number Order" activity for this game. To begin the "Out of Order Numbers" game, organize one set of cards so that all but one number is in order, for example, 0, 1, 2, 6, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9. Your students should then tell you which number is out of order (in this case, six) and tell you the correct place for the out-of-order number (between five and seven). As your kindergarteners become good at this game, you can put two or even three numbers out of the correct order. This number activity teachers your students to recognize incorrect number order and to place an out-of-place number in its correct position. The "Out of Order Numbers" game can be played as a large group, in small groups, or with individual students.


The goal of this lesson plan is to teach kindergarteners to recognize, identify, write, and order written numerals. At the end of the lesson, your kindergarten students should be able to recognize the written numbers zero through nine in English as well as to place the written numbers in correct counting order.