Free Printable Subitizing Worksheets for Practice [PDF]

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Children tend to count things individually or on their fingers; it is a basic skill. But, before developing this skill, they tend to count without counting literally. This sense of counting by sight is called subitizing. It prepares the students to guess the value of a given set before finding its exact quantity. Various manipulatives like dice are used for introducing subitizing to young learners. Children can easily find that any side is containing numbers 1 to 6 the moment they see the dots. Another helpful option can be subitizing worksheets, which contain various quick mental exercises. If you are in search of such worksheets, scroll down through this post.

Why learning subitizing is important?

Here is what researchers tell about the importance of learning subitizing:

  • It offers a crisper understanding of numbers[1] which counting fails to provide sometimes. While counting, kids get carried away by the burden of recognizing and sounding out the number correctly, losing the very perspective of number sense. So, while subitizing provides intelligence, counting is the form of expressing that intelligence.
  • The process of subitizing develops comfort with small values at the start[2], preparing them for bigger calculations they are likely to come across at higher levels.
  • Subitizing helps scaffold the learning curve[3] in children who are not too comfortable with numbers or are unable to understand number relationships.

Interestingly, subitizing is not restricted to guessing the number in a given set only. The learners can use their subitization skills to develop number bonds understanding, number decomposition, and pattern identification, and other math reasoning activities. Hence, while counting prepares you to learn numeric calculation, subitizing prepares you to do numbers-based reasoning.

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Types of subitizing worksheets

The basic aim of giving worksheets is to acquaint the kids with various types of subitizing-based math problems. Kids can have an engaging mix of problems to solve using worksheets, which can be of various types, such as:

  • Identify the number of objects in a set
  • Sorting and arranging problems based worksheets
  • Worksheets on pattern recognition based problems
  • Subitizing to number 5, number 10
  • Place value subitization
  • Decompose or compose numbers worksheets
  • Create object set worksheets based on hints

Are you looking for some interesting worksheets that cover the above points? Here some free printable subitizing worksheets with pdf version that you can use for improving the ‘count by sight’ ability in kids and help them do estimation-based problems with ease.

Wrapping up,

Include subitizing worksheets in the teaching methods when you want to groom the child’s number sense and math reasoning skills. These worksheets provide the requisite learning support needed to achieve quantitative intelligence and reasoning. With the help of regular practice and quick number talk sessions, the students can derive the best benefits of these practice materials. Children can also use them as a tool for competition, attaining fluency in the process by solving them in a paced manner.


[1]Subitizing: The neglected quantifier, Chapter 2, Douglas H. Clements, Julie Sarama, and Beth L. MacDonald

[2] The Estimation of Set Size by Potentially Gifted Kindergarten-Age Children, Arthur J. Baroody and Mary R. GatzkeJournal for Research in Mathematics Education

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[3] Learning Trajectories in Early Mathematics – Sequences of Acquisition and Teaching, DOUGLAS H. CLEMENTS, Ph.D., JULIE SARAMA, Ph.D. Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, USA


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