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Backward Counting for Kids: Fun and Educational Activities 


Learning is fun when it has the purpose of applying the content practically in our daily lives. Mathematics, being a subject reputed to be the scary one can be warded off if some methods were taught to the kids from a very young age. Each method has its techniques or keeps on evolving to make it more easy for kids to learn. One of the methods to be easy on mathematics is backward counting and the techniques are as follows.

Techniques to Learn the Backward Counting for Kids

  1. Visual Ideas
  • By creating a visual order of numbers representing a descending order and making children follow the order to learn the reverse order.
  • Use flashcards as a part of practical learning with some images imprinted on them as they can be stored in the subconscious easily.
  1. Counting Down Everyday Items and Things
  • Make up a task that involves backward counting or finishing a game that follows a reverse order.
  • Show or present daily items like toys or food items and take off each item to follow the descending order naturally.
  1. Story-telling
  • What can be more effective than to narrate a story that can encapsulate whole knowledge in it to grasp kids? Use stories incorporating numbers in reverse order for the kids.
  • Make an interactive story to be told amongst the kids or by themselves to make wholesome learning sessions.
  1. Songs & Rhythms
  • This is a very fun and entertaining format to keep kids away from stress as mathematics and number games are renowned to be associated with phobias, and these songs and rhythms incorporation can bid adieu to such. 
  • Encouraging kids to come up with their rhymes or songs can make this more of a creative activity. 
  1. Manipulative Games
  • Using counting blocks, like unblocking each item makes the whole building less of one which keeps them in a descending order. 
  • Introducing board games like dice or spinner with higher numbers with backward counting progressing games can bring out the best results. 
  1. Inducing Technology 
  • Explore a few best online apps that deal with daily arithmetic and can help in learning numbers backward as the graphics get stored in the minds of kids of GenZ. 
  • Membership in some apps can make kids responsible and habituating to attend the session daily resulting in consistent growth in their numerical fluency. 
  1. Real-life Applications 
  • Daily routines like descending numbers while getting down or up a flight of stairs can be helpful. 
  • Descending the number of days in a calendar for the remaining number of days to finish a month. 
  • Attending homework to finish one after another. 

All these examples help in the daily exercise of backward counting without fail. 

Why Backward Counting is Important? 

The foundations are laid to develop a holistic mathematical development, complementing forward counting. These help the children to grasp the sequence of numbers in reverse order. This is putting off the habit of counting and mugging up numbers only in sequential order. Laying foundation for the advanced mathematics, they tend to increase or sharpen numerical fluency if such methods are incorporated into an academic curriculum for children at a very young age. Backward counting is important for various reasons such as follows:

Cognitive Development

  • Backward Counting involves the visualization of numbers decreasing, which enables and ensures spatial reasoning by requiring mental manipulation of numerical information.
  • This skill is integral in various cognitive tasks like problem-solving in mathematical fields like geometry.
  • Remembering the sequence helps in reverse-order memory challenges.
  • It encourages a peculiar method of the non-traditional direction of counting and working with numbers.

Subtraction Preparations

  • This skill serves as an intuitive introduction to subtraction making any formal arithmetic operations simple.
  • The children need to become proficient in subtraction for later engagement of education making the advanced mathematics easy in further stages.
  • Backward Counting aligns with the concept of subtraction, as each count represents a taking away of one from the previous number.

Problem-Solving Skills

  • A more logical approach is possible by encouraging this skill in the children to think critically about patterns and relationships.
  • These lay the basic groundwork to go ahead into the varied fields of mathematics dealing with complex problems.
  • Though theoretical, many theories can be solved using this backward skill as an assumption.

Fun & Engaging

  • This skill can be introduced as an arithmetic game to provide some interactive and enjoyable activities, making out a positive and engaging experience.
  • These activities inculcate a positive attitude towards mathematics driving away the basic fear associated with the subject.
  • This skill has the potential to open the door to many kids to dwell in the magic of numbers.
  • This fosters a sense of socializing with other kids or students developing a competitive spirit.

Social-Emotional Development

  • The skill is useful as these countdowns backward teach children patience and the concept of waiting.
  • It is crucial for managing frustration and practicing delayed gratification. 


Beyond the mathematical aspects, this skill fosters a confident and competitive attitude and takes a fun and engaging route to solve phobias in different sectors. 


At what age kids should learn backward counting?

It is advisable to reach them by the preschool time like, at the age of 3 or 4.

How to teach backward counting using technology?

There are many educational apps to take care of, yet YouTube is a free platform with lots of videos accessible for free.

Can a 2-year-old count backward?

Backward continuing is something that is to be taught. Generally, the grasping of such a concept happens at the age of 3 or 4.