Have you seen those Russian nesting dolls? They are adorable. They’re called Matryoshka dolls and they’re actually a symbol of fertility, with the biggest doll representing the matriarch of the family. I love that! We’ve been hard at work on skip counting lately, and my daughter also loves these Russian dolls, so I created this printable for my first grader. These Free Printable Skip Counting by 2s Clip Cards are a fantastic way to review skip counting by 2s! The best thing is that once your students are familiar with skip counting, they can work independently on these counting task cards.

matryoshka themed skip counting by 2s clip cards for math centers

Recommended Grade Level:

Matryoshka Themed Skip Counting Supplies:

  • Printer/Ink
  • Paper Cutter
  • Laminating Supplies (optional)
  • Clothespins/Clips

Learning Skip Counting by 2 in Primary Grades



Early math center activities should be filled with varied opportunities for students to practice skip counting. They won’t gain automatic fluency with just one skip counting worksheet or a one-day lesson.

In the primary grades, kids are expected to learn to count by 2s, 5s and 10s. Kids typically won’t master skip counting until the end of kindergarten or first grade, but it’s never to early to introduce it.

When children can confidently count to 20 by ones, they are probably ready to understand and delve into skip counting. Some of the task cards include larger numbers, so you might differentiate by selecting specific cards for specific kids based on existing counting/number ID fluency.

I like to use skip counting task cards in conjunction with other whole group counting activities, games, and math worksheets.

Children need to practice skip counting orally, but they also need practice writing in the missing number. This Russian dolls set of clip cards requires kids to read the numbers, then plug in the missing number. So they must also be able to identify numbers in order to complete the cards.

Here are some questions/directions for kids to follow as they complete the task cards.

  • Read each number sequence out loud after choosing an answer
  • How did you know that was the missing number?
  • What number comes before/after the missing number?
These super cute matryoshka free printable skip counting clip cards are a great way to review counting by 2s with your kindergarteners and 1st graders!

What Can Preschoolers Learn While Using the Matryoshka Skip Counting Cards?



If you’d like to include a little history lesson with these unique cards, you can tell your students about Sergei Malyutin. He made the first set of matryoshka dolls in Russia in 1890. You might think they were made of bronze or medal, but in fact they are typically wood.

  • Metamorphosis
  • Egg/larva/pupa/adult
  • Grow/change
  • Germination
These super cute matroyshka free printable skip counting clip cards are a great way to review counting by 2s with your kindergarteners and 1st graders!

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn About Skip Counting?

Learning to count fluently to 120 (and beyond) is a basic requirement, typically in grades K-2. Skip counting takes counting to the next level. It helps kids form deeper understandings about numbers.

Background Knowledge: The more kids know about counting, skip counting, and counting backwards, the easier it will be for them to understand how numbers relate to each other.

Foundational: Skip counting is a foundational skill. They will use it to count coins. It rears its head later in 3rd and 4th grade with multiplication, division, fractions, multiples and factors!

Confidence: The more children can quickly and easily count and recognize patterns, the more confident they will feel when moving on to harder math in later grades.

Patterns: Patterns are all around us and we often begin teaching patterns with shapes, colors or objects. It’s also important for kids to be able to recognize patterns in our base ten number system.

How to Make the Matryoshka Doll Skip Counting by 2s Cards

To Prep:

Print, cut and laminate the cards (as desired).

To Use:

First, pick a card. Read the numbers in the line, saying “blank” where the number is missing. Place a clothespin on the number that is missing from the list of numbers on the card.

Make the cards self-checking by placing a light dot on the back of the card to correspond with the correct answer.

Or, make another copy of the cards as a whole sheet and ask kids to write the answer on the recording sheet for you to check later.

Extend the Activity

100 Chart

Use a 100 chart as an aid. Children can circle or place a counter on the given numbers to better see the pattern and identify the missing number.

Get Moving

Kids love when you just put a little spin on an activity they’ve done before. Maybe hide the cards around the room so they have to find a card before working on it.

Place Value

For kids that are ready to delve into understanding place value, you can have them identify the missing number and then say how many tens/ones it has.

matryoshka themed skip counting by 2s clip cards for math centers
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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  1. This is a great idea! I’m getting my little one ready for kindergarten so I will print these out to help her!

  2. These are so cute! Such a fun way to practice number recognition, as well as seeing the patterns in numbers. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    ~Bethany @Math Geek Mama

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