Tape Measure Counting


The purpose of this activity is to help your child to count forwards and backwards using numbers to 100.

Link to Number Framework:

Number Sequence, Stage 4

What you need:

  • A tape measure

What to do:

  • Choose any two numbers on the tape. Practice counting, backwards and forwards, between these two numbers. For example start counting at 28 and stop at 42, or start counting at 92 and stop at 73. Follow the numbers on the tape measure as you count together.
  • Ask questions about the order of the numbers on the tape measure. For example:
    What number comes before 71?
    What number comes after 29?

    Children can use the tape measure to help answer these questions if they need to.

What to expect your child to do:

  • Be able to visualise where the number fits on the tape measure to increase their understanding of the order of numbers.
  • To confidently cross the decades when counting forwards and backwards. For example "17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23" or "93, 92, 90, 89, 88, 87".


  • Count in twos between any two numbers on the tape. Remember to count both forwards and backwards
    28, 30, 32…
  • Count in fives between any two numbers on the tape.
    65, 60, 55

Related Māori vocab:

count foward tatau whakamua
count backward tatau whakamuri
count in two’s tatau mawhiti-rua

Download a file of this activity:

PDF (77KB) or Word (43KB)

Download a file of this activity including questions to ask in Māori:

PDF (93KB) or Word (50KB)