Math in the Real World: Counting

Dec 27, 2017 | Tustin

Math is everywhere in our lives! Kids sometimes think that math only exists in math class, but parents know that we do math every day, in a number of different ways, both small and large. You can share this perspective with your kids to show them just how important—and how fun—math really is. Look for opportunities while doing activities around the house or running errands to ask your child to solve problems that follow this format:

“Count from _____ to _____ by _____!”

Have your child count from any number, to any number, by any number.


“We have 20 socks left to fold, so let’s count down from 20 by 2s until there are 0 socks left to fold!”


“Each box of fruit snacks has 5 packets inside, so let’s count up from 0 by 5s to see how many packets of fruit snacks there are in the grocery store.”

Counting Activity: Make a Counting Jar

Decorate a jar and fill it with counters to use while practicing counting skills! You can use buttons, beads, tokens, or other small, countable objects to fill your jar.


* a large glass jar with a lid
* chalkboard paint
* chalk
* counters


1. Paint a rectangle on the jar with chalkboard paint to record counted numbers. Let the paint dry completely before using the jar.

2. Fill the jar with counters.

3. Use the counting jar as a tool to practice counting skills. Count forward, backward, to any number, from any number, by any number!