Rocket Ship Counting Backwards

Counting backwards is the perfect skill to practice with a space theme. Not many other pretend play scenarios incorporate counting backwards like a rocket ship.

This counting backwards set capitalizes on the idea of a rocket ship about to blast off. So print it out and watch your kids enjoy counting backwards!

Space Themed Backwards Counting

There’s nothing quite like that feeling as a kid when you get to count backwards from 10, sitting in your rocket ship box, and yelling BLAST OFF.

While I was never into space quite as much as my brother (he found his love of space at a pretty young age) my kids definitely have the space bug. At least one hopes to train as an astronaut one day.

They love to do activities like this Straw Rocket STEM Challenge. And I can get them to practice counting backwards every single time they shoot off a rocket.

Why Counting Backwards is Important

I feel that number sense is absolutely vital for kids. It’s one thing to know how to work math problems but it’s a completely different thing to understand how numbers actually work and fit together.

Counting backwards is the next step into understanding numbers and their relationship.

Saying 1, 2, 3 isn’t totally meaningless. Those numbers have value. And it works the same in reverse.

Learning how to count backwards is an essential skill for children.

Firstly, counting backwards enhances their number sense and mathematical understanding. By starting from a higher number and subtracting, children grasp the concept of subtraction, which is fundamental in arithmetic. This skill encourages critical thinking and problem-solving abilities by challenging their minds to work in reverse order.

Moreover, counting backwards promotes spatial awareness and sequencing skills. It assists children in comprehending patterns, sequences, and order, thereby fostering their logical reasoning abilities.

Additionally, this skill aids in the development of memory and concentration as children must recall numbers in reverse order.

These are a few of the reasons that we find opportunities to practice counting backwards wherever we can.

How to Use the Rocket Ship Counting Backwards Set

There are three parts to this set and they all work together.

First there is the BLAST OFF Counting Backwards booklet. It’s simply the numbers 10-0. Each page features a different space object (planet, rocket, star, etc) and includes the same number of objects as the number on the page. For example, there are 7 Marses on this page.

Next we have the rocket ship blast off backwards counter.

Start by cutting the rocket ship page into stripes and tape them together. Then cut out the numbers.

Have you child place the numbers (backwards from 10) below the rocket.

If they need to count forwards first, that’s fine! Have them start at 0 and place the numbers until 10. Then count backwards with the numbers already in place. This will help cement the idea of backwards counting.

The numbers are dotted so you can have your child trace them.

If you want to reuse this set, laminate all of the pieces and use hook and loop tape dots. They’ll be able to place the numbers in the right spot over and over again.

P.S. Don’t forget to yell BLAST OFF after getting to 0.

Last we have the rocket ship backwards counting slider. This is my favorite of all three because it’s so much fun.

Print the rocket ship and cut on the dotted lines. Then cut out the number stripe.

Glide the number strip up through the bottom slit and back down the top slit. Now you can pull the number stripe down and count the numbers as you go. When you get to 0 – BLAST OFF.

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