How To Teach Numbers – Children’s English ESL, EFL

Teaching children numbers and counting from 1-100 is an important part of any young learners English Class (ESL, EFL). In this post I will talk about

  • How to teach Numbers 1-10 to beginner students
  • How to teach Numbers 1-100 and beyond
  • Songs to help students learn numbers
  • Games and activities to practice numbers with your students.


There are many different ways to teach numbers. I do not think it is necessary to translate numbers to the students native language. The students will be able to understand numbers by counting. Here are a few ways I introduce numbers to young students ages 3-6:

  • I use my fingers and count from 1-10. Encourage your students to follow along.
  • Teach the numbers with flashcards
  • Count objects and students
  • Do actions and count. For example, jumping or standing on one foot and counting to ten.

I sometimes do all of the above in one lesson! It can be fun and by the end students will really begin to count in English.


I have a big soft dice in my classroom. I use this for a simple game with my students.

First, we count the numbers on each side from 1-6. Next, I roll the dice and ask the students what is the number on the top of the dice when the roll stops. My dice has numbers, but you can use any dice and count the dots.

Now it is the students turn. If you have a big class, get volunteers. For smaller classes, every student can have a turn. Be careful using small dice if you have young students. Look for a dice like you see in the picture above.


I use Let’s Count 1 to 10 to teach numbers in preschool English class and the kids love it! It’s simple and fun. Kids from 2-10 years old will enjoy this simple song and dance. 

Before teaching the song, I start by teaching the numbers from 1-10. 

I teach the numbers in a few different ways: 

  • I use my fingers and count from 1-10. Encourage your students to follow along.
  • Teach the numbers with flashcards
  • Count objects and students
  • Do actions and count like jumping or standing on one foot and counting to ten.

Next, I teach the words of the song with the actions. 

You can see the actions in the video above. It is simple clapping from side to side while counting to ten. I do this first before trying with the melody. 

Now sing the song!

After teaching the actions to the song it is now time to give it a try. If you know the melody, sing the song without background music first. Finally, add the music and sing the song with your students!

Why so many steps?

Young learners need repetition to learn. While you are doing the steps to teach numbers, keep it fun for your students. Be a little silly, smile and laugh. Also, do not expect too much from your students for a first try. 

You can download a Free MP3 of the song here and it is also available on Spotify and other streaming services!


When my students are comfortable with numbers 1-10 I begin introducing higher numbers. For numbers 11-100 I use flashcards. It becomes more difficult to count objects when you get into higher numbers.

Here are some tips:

  • Teach 1-20 first. Students may have challenges with numbers 11, 12, 13, and 15. Go slowly with these numbers.
  • After your students can count to 20, introduce 20-100 counting by tens: 20, 30, 40, etc.
  • When your students are comfortable counting to 100 this way you can count up by one and teach 21, 22, 23, 24, etc.
  • You do not have to count from 1-100 by 1s every class. I usually count 1-30 by 1s and then by tens to 100.
  • After 100 you can introduce 1,000 and 10,000 young learners have fun counting such high numbers


In the video above your students can practice counting from 1-100 by 1s and get some exercise! Give it a try.


Believe it or not I have a song and video to count to 1,000! This video might be good for your students to listen to in the background or at home.


There are so many games you can use to teach numbers. With young English learners ages 3-6 I use two simple games.

  1. Touch Game – Put numbers flashcards on the table or floor and ask your students to touch a number you say. For young learners you can start with numbers 1-3 and as the students advance add more numbers. You can also make it a competition by having two students at a time touch a number you say. The faster student wins.
  2. Quiz Game – Show a number flashcard to your students and have them call out the number they see. You can start slowly with younger students. As your students get better, show them the card quickly by spinning it around. Have fun with this.

I hope this has been helpful. Be creative and use a lot of repetition and review. I teach numbers every class. Numbers are important and it doubles as great English pronunciation practice!

Happy Teaching!
Dream English

My First 100 Words With Matt Book

I’m super excited to tell you about my new book: My First 100 Words With Matt. A book designed for young learners of English as a second or foreign language (ESL, EFL).

We worked really hard on this book to present the vocabulary in a fun and memorable way. Each chapter has ten vocabulary words. I chose the vocabulary based upon the most important words for young English learners. The vocabulary in the book follows the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Why 100 Words?

I chose one hundred words as it is a concrete and doable goal for children. The words in this book are chosen because children will find them common in their lives. Learn Animals, Food, Vehicles, Numbers, Jobs, Colors, Family, Clothing, Body Parts, and Actions vocabulary.

It is said that with a few hundred words we can get by in a language. To be conversational, research shows that between 800-1000 words are necessary. With a basis of 100 words your young learners will be on their way to speaking English!

Look Inside! Let’s have a look at a few chapters from the book:

Free Audio and Visual Materials

I have created audio lessons to go with each chapter. You can check those out here. I am also working on videos for each chapter with chapters 1-3 already available. Students can watch the videos and follow along with each chapter. Check out Chapter 1 below. For more videos go to the Dream English Kids YouTube channel.

Students can also watch the My first 100 Words chant video with all of the vocabulary.

If you are a parent wanting your child to learn English, or a teacher of English this book is for you!

Search for the book on Amazon in your local country store.

Below are links to purchase the book in different country Amazon stores. Click on your country.

USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Australia

Thanks for your support! – Matt

New Book: My First 100 Words With Matt

New Book: My First 100 Words With Matt! 🎉

Available now on Amazon. Click here to learn more!

Learn 100 Vocabulary Words in ten fun and easy to understand chapters.

Free downloadable audio resources to go with the book. Details on the inside cover.
The book goes with the 100 Words in English Chant on the Dream English Kids YouTube channel.

Build student confidence with an attainable goal of learning 100 words!

Get your copy here!



New Halloween Songs and Videos

It is time for Halloween again, it sure comes up fast every year. This year I’m excited about Halloween because I have some brand new songs. I’ve been testing these songs out in my classes and the students are already enjoying the songs. 

New Album: Good Morning Halloween by Dream English Kids

Now available on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon music. Link here or search Dream English Kids.

Song List:

1. Good Morning Halloween

2. Counting on Halloween

3. Halloween Candy

4. Jumping on Halloween

5. Tip-Toe Halloween

6. Good Afternoon Halloween

7-12. Sing-Alongs! 

Below I will talk about some of the songs from the album.

Let’s watch the Good Morning Halloween Song video: 

I hope you enjoyed that. This song is a great warm-up song for your morning classes. To teach this I would teach the actions and the lyrics first. Then get play the song. The students will follow along quickly because it is an action song.

Jumping on Halloween. Let’s watch the video: 

Jumping on Halloween is an action song with some stops in it which young learners always enjoy.

The last song on the album is Good Afternoon Halloween: 

This is the same song as the Good Morning Halloween song, but it is for your afternoon classes. I am using this song as well and it is a great way to start the Halloween classes

I will be making videos for all of the songs on Good Morning Halloween throughout the month on the Dream English Kids YouTube channel. There are also sing-along tracks. All of the songs have a sing-along track you can use those if you want to try to have your students sing without my voice. Also, you can use the sing-along track as background music if you are doing activities or Halloween games.

Please check it out Good Morning Halloween on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon. 

I hope you find the songs useful for your classes!

New Video: Open Shut Them Song

Open Shut Them has become a favorite warm-up song for my children’s English classes (ESL, EFL). It is fun, simple, and has plenty of actions. More below the video!

How to Teach

I start out teaching this song by doing the actions of opening and shutting my hands as you can watch in the video. Then I teach clap and the body parts in the song: head, knees, and nose.

Next, I slowly go through the actions and lyrics of the song with my students. At first, go slow and you do not have to force your students to sing along. They will sing when ready. From the beginning, encourage your students to do the actions. Full lyrics below!

Open Shut Them Lyrics

Here we go!
Open shut them, open shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open shut them, open shut them
Put them on your head
Open shut them, open shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open shut them, open shut them
Put them on your knees
Open shut them, open shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open shut them, open shut them
Put them on your nose

One more time, faster!
Oh boy! Here we go!

Open shut them, open shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open shut them, open shut them
Put them on your head
Open shut them, open shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open shut them, open shut them
Put them on your knees
Open shut them, open shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open shut them, open shut them
Put them on your nose
Great Job!

Listen to Open Shut Them

You can use the above YouTube video in your classes, or stream Open Shut them on the following services:

Stream Open Shut Them:
Apple Music
Amazon Music

Search Dream English Kids on any of these streaming services to find the song!

I hope this is helpful. Give it a try in your classes. Happy Singing!

Animals Picture Dictionary with Audio

Click on the player below the picture to hear Matt say the word! American accent pronunciation. Word below the Picture Dictionary Animals songs video!


Great work! Now watch and sing the Picture Dictionary Animals Song with Matt and Bell!

I hope you enjoyed this audio lesson with Matt from Dream English! Download and listen to free animals songs. Click here!

Listen to Dream English Kids Songs on Spotify!

Vocabulary Practice Videos: Numbers 1-10

Songs are great for learning English. It is also important for young learners (ESL, EFL) to practice English vocabulary with good pronunciation. For that reason I started a new video series! More below the video!

Vocabulary Practice Videos for Children’s English Class

It is important to take some time in your English class for young learners to teach the basics of the English language. It is ok to drill and practice vocabulary in your classes. This should not take up all of your classes, but a few minutes each class is important.

I always practice numbers, ABCs, weather, and colors in each English class. I often add more vocabulary. By taking the time to ask the students to repeat after us they learn proper pronunciation. Pronunciation is very important for English conversation. If a student know vocabulary, but can not pronounce it correctly it could cause difficulty in conversation. For this reason, we need to practice single words with students through vocabulary practice.

I hope these videos will be helpful for your classes. Check out the vocabulary practice video on Fruit on the Dream English Kids YouTube channel!