The Best Numbers to 5 Activities for Kindergarten


Do you need the best counting and understanding numbers to 5 activities to use with your kindergarten students? Look no further! This counting and understanding numbers to 5 unit is PERFECT for your students.

Skip the post and grab everything you need to teach numbers to 5 to your kindergarten students here!

Writing and Understanding Numbers to Five

The key in kindergarten is to go slow to go fast. Or to just go slow.. ha!

For the first week of school, we focus on just one number a day. We start with 1 and go to 5, then we go over what zero is.

While this might seem cumbersome, it is actually a great way to ease students into math while also setting routines in your classroom.

Counting and Building Numbers to 5

Next, we focus on making sure students not only can count from 1-5, but also can show that many objects, understand what numbers come next and can represent the numbers 1-5 in many different ways (tallies, objects, tens frames, numbers, written numbers, etc.).

We spend AT LEAST one day, if not more, on each of these skills:

  • Matching a number of objects to a numeral
  • Counting numbers in a tens frame
  • Counting snap cubes (or other manipulatives)
  • Counting a number of objects
  • Look at a number and draw it onto a tens frame
  • Look at a number and draw it (dab, color or sticker – not on a tens frame)
  • Look at a larger picture and count the number of each object that there are

More and Less with Numbers Up to Five

Once students have a firm understanding of the numbers 1-5 and can recognize them in many, many different scenarios, they are ready for a harder skill.

Help students practice identifying which set has more and which set has less.

The hardest part here will be vocabulary. Students will need your help reading the pages, so it is best to do most activities in whole or small groups.

I spend 2 days on teaching “more” and 2 days on teaching “less”. I do not mix them up because students may get confused.

Timeline for Teaching Numbers to 5 in Kindergarten

This unit typically takes us the first 4 or 5 weeks of school. This may seem like a long time, but kindergarteners are also learning SO many new things about being at school, that this is the perfect math unit to transition into elementary school.

The breakdown is:

  • Week One: Writing and Understanding Numbers to 5 (one number per day)
  • Week Two: Look at a numeral and color, matching numbers to 5
  • Week Three: Count the objects and write the number
  • Week Four: Look at the number and draw or represent that many objects
  • Week Five: More or less with numbers up to 5

Writing Numbers to 5 Daily Activities

Students should also be practicing their handwriting for numbers to 5 each day during this unit.

Start by simply having students trace the numbers so they are perfecting how the numbers should be formed.

After students are doing that well, have students trace some and then freehand some.

Finally, start by leaving gaps in their handwriting pages and having students fill in the missing numbers.

Assessing Kindergarteners

Kindergarteners are still so little at the beginning of the year. Since this is likely the very first unit that you will teach to them, you need to decide whether assessing them feels appropriate or not.

Typically, I will do their test in small groups and take the results with a grain of salt. It is more to get them used to the idea of being assessed than the actual results of the assessment.

If you do choose to assess, be sure you are very explicitly explaining the directions. Remember, you are testing their MATH SKILLS not their ability to understand the test or to read the directions.


What questions do you have about teaching kindergarteners numbers up to five? Drop them below!

Grab everything you need to teach numbers to 5 to your kindergarten students here!

Still need help setting up your math block? Check out my ultimate guide to teaching math!

Emily - The Mountain Teacher

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