Back to Basics English for Young Learners #1: Numbers

With so many songs, videos, flashcards, games, where does one begin teaching English to young learners? It can be overwhelming! My answer: get back to basics. In this post, and more going forward, I will cover some basic and simple ideas for teaching English. Remember, teaching English is easy! Present the material in a fun and interesting way, and children will do the rest with their magnificent minds. More below the video:

Basic # 1: Teaching Numbers 

We might think that most young learners already know numbers. I meet a lot of new students who have a basic idea of how to say numbers in English, but maybe have never done so in front of people. Numbers are a fun and simple way to boost young learners confidence in the English classroom.

Practice, practice, practice

Numbers are not only great on their own, but they contain many sounds of the English language. I start many classes by simply counting 1 to 10 using flashcards. If the students are older we might count to 100, or 1,000 or higher! It depends on the level, and kids get a kick out of saying really high numbers. You can make flashcards, write numbers on a white board, or even count objects. Be creative!

Numbers Songs

I have recorded a few numbers songs over the years, but the still number one favorite is Let’s Count 1 to 10. Simple, and always fun with the actions.  Here is a list of the Numbers Songs I use most in my classes. Click on the link to go to the page or video with the song.

  1. Let’s Count 1 to 10
  2. Let’s Count to 20
  3. Counting to 100 by 1s

Vocabulary Use

You can do many things with numbers. Ask students, “how old are you?” and they answer, ” I am five”, etc. You can use numbers in a shopping game and use the vocabulary, “How much is it?” “It’s 25 dollars.”


You can play a shopping game, restaurant game, or many other fun games with numbers. Below are links to my favorite number games to use in class:

  1. Easy Counting Game
  2. Put in Order Game
  3. What’s Missing Game
  4. Toss a ball to students and count. (not a game, but a fun activity)

Numbers Wrap up

As a teacher I like to keep things as simple as possible. To teach numbers, practice saying numbers with your students, sing a numbers song, then play a numbers game. Simple and effective. Keep it light and fun, and your students will be counting to a billion in no time! Happy Teaching!

Author: Matt

The blog of Matt from Dream English with teaching tips and more