Subitising

NEW! Subitising is the skill of recognising the number of things in a group without having to count each one individually. As adults, we do it all of the time without realising, especially when we are looking at things like dice where we have memorised the pattern of the dots. The Development Matters 2020 suggests that children aged between 3 and 4 might be learning to subitise a group of 3 objects without having to count them first.  

Lots of the things that we do with children help them to develop their sense of number and the ability to subitise, such as playing games that include dice, dominoes and holding up our fingers when we sing nursery rhymes that include numbers. You may also find many of the resources in our Numbers to 10 section useful.

Most adults can recognise groups of up to 5 without counting - the skill known as perceptual subitising. Most of the specific resources below concentrate on perceptual subitising up to 3 and up to 5. For groups of more than 5, different skills come into play, such as splitting the group into parts and adding each part together. This is known as conceptual subitising.

 

Butterfly Matching Numerals Cards

Butterfly Matching Numerals Cards

Count the pictures - all caterpillars and butterflies - and match to the right number card. Alternatively, fold the cards in half down the centre and glue back to back to form double-sided flash cards.

Counting Dots to 6 Peg Cards

Counting Dots to 6 Peg Cards

Help children become familiar with the dot patterns on dice with this subitising peg card activity. The aim is for children to begin to recognise the patterns quickly rather than have to count each dot - something that adults take for granted but that children have to learn over time.

Counting Easter Eggs Peg Cards

Counting Easter Eggs Peg Cards

Count the pretty Easter eggs and peg the correct number! This is an excellent activity for counting practice, subitising practice, and even for strengthening children's hand muscles and dexterity. And who can resist the Easter eggs!

Counting Eggs to Five Peg Cards

Counting Eggs to Five Peg Cards

For these pretty peg cards, children should count the eggs in each nest and peg the correct number. Perfect for some spring or Easter counting practice.

Counting Fingers to Five Peg Cards

Counting Fingers to Five Peg Cards

These fun peg cards ask children to count the fingers from 1 to 5, and peg the correct number. They are good for subitising practice as well as number recognition.

Halloween Counting Peg Cards

Halloween Counting Peg Cards

Grab some clothes pegs and printer card and have fun with these Halloween number peg cards! Cut out the cards (laminate for repeat use) and then ask the kids to count the objects and "clip" the correct number.

Mix and Match Number Dot Cards 0 to 10 Set 1

Mix and Match Number Dot Cards 0 to 10 Set 1

Our first set of "dot" cards in our mix and match series has fairly regular patterns and simple black dots. Match them to numbers, number words, pictures or other dot cards in the series. Blank cards are included.

Mix and Match Number Dot Cards 0 to 10 Set 3

Mix and Match Number Dot Cards 0 to 10 Set 3

The dots on this set of mix and match number cards have changed colour and size - but there are still the numbers 1 to 10 for the children to count and match with other cards in our mix and match series!

Mix and Match Number Picture Cards 1 to 10

Mix and Match Number Picture Cards 1 to 10

We've added pictures to this set of number cards - extra fun for kids learning to count. You can use these cards double-sided by folding along the central vertical line and gluing the pictures back to back.

Large Number Cards with Dots

Number Flash Cards with Dots - Large

Practice counting and number recognition with these fun printable number cards - in large size! They print one to a page and we have numbers 1-10. Print onto card or good white paper, fold where indicated and glue together before cutting out.

Pancake Peg Cards

Pancake Peg Cards

Count to 10 with these fun pancake peg cards. How many pancakes are in each stack? Attach a clothes peg to the correct number. To make the cards self-checking, you an put a checkmark or a small sticker on the back of the card in the correct position.

Subitising Dots to Ten Bingo

Subitising Dots to Ten Bingo

Play a bingo game which helps children begin to recognise instantly the dot patterns on dice (up to 6) as well as dot patterns up to 10. Encourage children to look for the patterns rather than count the dots each time!

Subitising to Five Eggs Flashcards

Subitising to Five Eggs Flashcards

Fold these flashcards - perfect for spring or Easter, or even a bird topic - so that the picture is on the front and the number on the back. How quickly can the kids recognise the number of eggs in each nest?

Subitising to Five Fingers Flashcards

Subitising to Five Fingers Flashcards

Children can learn to count fingers quickly with these fun flashcards! Our double-sided are quick and easy to use. Simply cut the cards horizontally and fold vertically so that the picture is on one side and the number on the back.

Subitising to Six Dots Flashcards

Subitising to Six Dots Flashcards

Help children get really familiar with the dot patterns of dice with these folding flashcards. The aim is that they recognise the pattern of the dots without having to count the dots each time. You could also cut each card apart and play a matching game.

Subitising to Three Easter Eggs Flashcards

Subitising to Three Easter Eggs Flashcards

Subitising is the skill of recognising the number of objects without having to count them each time. These Easter egg flashcards are designed to help children do just that, and can be used over and over again.

Subitising to Three Spring Flashcards

Subitising to Three Spring Flashcards

These pretty flashcards are designed to help children quickly recognise what 1, 2 and 3 objects look like. We've used spring-themed pictures and colours.

Unicorn Roll the Dice Subitising Game

Unicorn Roll the Dice Subitising Game

Unicorn fans will enjoy playing this game, which is designed to help children learn to match the dots on dice to the appropriate numberals - while having fun, of course! Play singly or in pairs. All you will need is this printable, a die and 1 or 2 coloured pencils.

More Helpful Resources

Dice Games
Dice Games

Peg Cards
Peg Cards

Explore Activity Village

Become a Member to access 38,235 printables!