Counting: 5,4,3,2,1

Counting_ 5,4,3,2,1

Music is a great way to help children develop mathematical concepts.  I even did research for my teaching degree dissertation on this: ‘An investigation into how music can help children’s learning in maths, especially in the concept area of pattern’

How can music help with counting backwards?

Songs and rhymes are brilliant at facilitating counting backwards and there are many to choose from.  Below I have listed those that I use:

  • 5 little ducks
  • 5 little men
  • 10 in the bed
  • 10 sausages
  • 5 little monkeys swinging in a tree
  • 5 cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed
  • 5 little kites
  • 5 little shells
  • 5 green shamrocks
  • 5 little snowmen
  • 5 little ghosts/witches
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom we’re going to the moon

If you don’t know some of those listed above, they are or will be included soon in the updated Activity Ideas for ~2 to 5 years on Early Years Music Ideas.

You can also start on a different number to count back and/or adapt the lyrics to fit in with the children’s interests or a particular topic.   

Have you changed any counting backwards songs?  Can you think of any that I haven’t thought about?  If so, I’d love to hear; please put them in the comments section below, thank you.

Happy music making!



Kate Hancock


Thanks for the counting backwards songs. Would you post a list of counting forwards, up to 5, then to 10 songs as sadly it is really tricky to find these. Children cannot count backwards until they can count forwards and orally parroting numbers to 10 is not terribly exciting!! Many thanks in anticipation...

Read more
Read less
Anne Hole

Thank you for your comment, Kate.  I have written a new blog with a few ideas; you can read it here:

Thanks, Anne

Read more
Read less

Leave a comment