Before counting backwards...
Much like walking backwards, counting backwards can be quite the challenge for young learners. This can cause an issue later down the track if not properly addressed. Before trying to teach how to count backwards, first your learner must have a good grasp of counting forwards and the consecutive order of the numbers 1-10. They must also understand how this increases in the tens value. It is highly important that you also address this in worded form as later years will involve worded problems.
Place the numbers in order from 1-10 and have the learner start from one end to the other. First start at 1 and count upwards out loud. Once they reach 10, ask them to go backwards and say these out loud again. Then, you can provide them a series of instructions (For example: “Go forward one but backwards three.”) and ask them to say the numbers out loud as they move.
For kids with higher levels of energy: Draw it outside on the ground with chalk or print out 10 number sheets and place them on the ground for them to hop about.
For kids that love stories: Use a character from a game or even monopoly characters and make up a story for them to move forwards or backwards. For example: Your troll is going to get hunted by the villagers so make sure to outrun them by going forwards three times!”
Other creative ideas: Don’t forget that children are very visual so using colours in your lessons can help them feel more entertained.
You can download these free worksheets using the buttons.