Counting games are normally associated with mathematics. They are a fantastic way to start a math’s lesson to get students thinking and provide an activity with a fun competitive challenge. I have often found that counting games such as the five below are crowd favourites and students will request to play these over other games. The reason for this is that counting games are extremely fun and addictive in a good way. This is why the following five education breaks are ‘must haves’ in your teaching resources.

Guessing Game

Equipment: None

Description: Pick one student to whisper a 2-digit number to the teacher. The students have to sit quietly and raise their hand to be called on to ask questions about the number. They can only be yes/no questions. “Is it even?” “Is it higher than 60?” “Is the number found when you count by 4’s?”…etc. The winner is the student who guesses the correct number. They choose the next number.


Silent Count

Equipment: None

Description: Silent Count can be played anywhere. The aim of the game is to count to 20 or however many students you have in the class. The only rules are: each student can only say one number once. If two students say the same number at the same time then you start again, or, if numbers are repeated, you start again. Students are not allowed to point or prompt other students if they haven’t had a go. This game is to be played in silence and can be fun and also quite challenging.

sitting down

Count to 21

Equipment: None

Description: Students start this game standing in a circle. Each student can say three numbers when it is their turn. For example, the first student may say 1, 2, 3; the second student might only say 4, 5. Students can say one, two or three numbers when it is their turn. The student who says number 21 is out and they sit down. The next student starts counting at 1 again. The game continues until there is only one student still standing.



Equipment: None

Description: This game is aimed at improving the times tables the class is focusing on. For example, we are learning our 7s. The teacher will start by saying one, then the next student will say two and so on around the circle, until you get to the multiples of 7, then you need to say “buzz” instead of the number. If a student gets the wrong answer, you can work through it together and continue, or they can be eliminated and sit down. Once the class has mastered the multiples of 7, you can also add any number with 7 buzz as well, such as 7, 27, and 37. This will increase the students’ concentration and is a great way of learning times tables.

Buzz-logo (1)


Equipment: None

Description: The teacher will pick two students to battle. If the class has been learning their 4 times tables, the teacher will use these as their questions. For example, 4X3=12. The first student to correctly answer this is the winner and sinks the other student’s ship, which means they need to sit down. The teacher will randomly pick two more students to battle, this continues until you have one winner. It’s a good idea to try and pair students of similar ability for the first few questions. You can also make it so you play in teams; no one is eliminated, they just score a point for their team if they get the battle right. A good game to see who has been practicing their times tables at home.



If you would like the counting education break activities as a PDF, simply email me at and I will send them to you to keep with your other resources.