Homeschool Freebie: Learning to Count to 20

I’m not totally sure how my older two children learned to count to 20. It just happened. I’m sure we played games, counted together, and did the usual stuff. Wanting to play hide-n-seek with the big kids as a driving motivation for learning to count to 20 for both of them. And counting to 20 just came together pretty quickly for the olders when they were ready. But this isn’t so for my 6 year old. 

Not only is he a visual-kinesthetic learner, he also has trouble remembering the names of things – like numbers and letters. He can remember amazing things, but the names of things (and people) are difficult for him. It takes a lot of repetition and many different methods to move names/labels into his long-term memory.

Knowing how long it took for him to memorize 1-10, I’ve been taking a more diverse approach to teaching him numbers 11-20. These are the only numbers that don’t follow a clean rhythm that directly correlates to numbers 1-10 and thus require a little more effort to learn. (For example, my 6 yo already can do 21-100, he just doesn’t have 11-20 memorized.)

Some of the methods we’ve used include:

  • counting out loud
  • counting manipulatives (dried beans, m&ms, Legos, etc)
  • jumping on the trampoline (one jump per number)
  • reading counting books
  • pointing to numbers written on the white board
  • writing the numbers out

But I was really missing having number tiles for ordering and matching. Letter tiles and alphabet Go Fish cards have been very good for helping him concrete letter and word-building concepts. So, I created some very simple 11-20 number tiles to use for matching games and tactile ordering games. I’m also going to use these for notebooking and lapbooking graphics. 

Free 11-20 number tiles manipulatives from

Click to download a PDF version

If you’d like to use these as well, feel free to download them here (opens in a new window). Simply cut them out on the lines and store in an envelope.

If you have one available, a Xyron or similar sticker machine is a good way to laminate them or turn them into magnets or stickers. (I love my Xyron!) Otherwise, an office supply or teacher supply store may be able to laminate them for you. But it is also pretty inexpensive to just print a new sheet when you need them.

If you have other ideas or games for teaching numbers 11-20, I’d love to hear them. Please post a comment and share how any methods you’ve used.  Thanks!


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One Response to Homeschool Freebie: Learning to Count to 20

  1. Kristie says:

    My son cannot remember the names of 12, 13, and 15. Are there any tricks for that?

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