I Spy: 1, 2, 3

Books to Share

  • 1, 2, 3 by Tana Hoban.
  • I Spy Little Numbers by Jean Marzollo.
  • One, Two, Three to the Zoo by Eric Carle.
  • Three Little Kittens by Tanya Linch.

Books to Show and Booktalk

  • Count! by Denise Fleming.
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed by Eileen Christlelow.
  • Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang.
  • Touch and Feel: 1, 2, 3 by Dorling Kindersley.

Bulletin Board

Books You Can Count On

Cut out large numbers and write titles, authors, and call numbers of picture books on them. Place the numbers randomly on the bulletin board around the caption, “Books You Can Count On.”


Give each child a number from 1 to 5 for a nametag when they enter the storytime area.


“One, Two, How Do You Do”

(From Ring O Ring O’Roses by Flint Public Library.)

Hickory Dickory Dock

(Traditional. Make a clock and mouse to go with this rhyme using the patterns here.)

Hickory, dickory, dock,

(Place hands together and move them back and forth)

The mouse ran up the clock

(Raise hands above head)

The clock struck one

(Clap hands above head once)

The mouse ran down.

(Bring hands back down together)

Hickory, dickory, dock.

…The clock struck two

The mouse said, “Boo!”

(Cups hands around mouth)

…The clock struck three

The mouse said, “Wheee!”

(Flutter hands down)

Hickory, dickory, dock.

…The clock struck four

The mouse said, “No More!”

Hickory, dickory, dock.

I Spy Three

(Adapted by Leila Raven Parrish. Use a different finger puppet with each verse. Tailor the verses to fit the puppets you have or a book you are introducing.)

I spy three - one, two, three

(Hold up 3 fingers, one at a time)

Three little bunnies

Reading the funnies.

(Wiggle 3 fingers)

One, two, three.

(Bend down 3 finger, one at a time)

…Three little frogs

Sitting on logs.

(Place other arm in front to create a log)

…Three little bees

Buzzing in trees.

(Spread fingers of other hand to create a tree)

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“One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” from Ring A Ring O’Roses.

Five Little Monkeys

Sing “Five Little Monkeys” using monkey finger puppets.


“Ten Little Indians”

“Three Little Kittens”

Roll Over

(Sing this traditional counting song using felt figures and removing them as the song indicates.)

There were five in the bed.

And the little one said,

“Roll over! Roll over!”

And they all rolled over and one fell out.

There were four in the bed…

There were three in the bed...

There were two in the bed...

…There was one in the bed,

And the little one said, “Good night!”

Flannel Board Stories

  • “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” in The Flannel Board Storytelling Book, 2nd Edition by Judy Sierra.
  • “Five Little Boats” in The Flannel Board Storytelling Book, 2nd Edition by Judy Sierra.

Adult and Child Craft

1, 2, 3 Clay


  • Table
  • Clay
  • Wax paper or styrofoam trays


With adult guidance, children roll pieces of clay back and forth with both hands to create 3 snakes. Children bend and shape the clay snakes to form the numbers 1, 2, and 3 and dry them on wax paper or a styrofoam tray.


Number Game

Refer to the numbers the children were given for nametags. Ask them to stand up when you say their number. Count from 1 to 9.

1, 2, 3 Count With Me

(Adapted from Math Play by Diane McGowan.)

Count to three and say an action phrase like “jump with me”, “clap with me”, “hug with me”, “yawn with me”. Ask the children to count with you each time and then do the action you say.

Audio Recordings

  • Counting Games and Rhythms for the Little Ones by Ella Jenkins.
  • “This Old Man” on A Child’s Celebration of Song by Various Artists.


The Three Little Pigs. (12 minutes)

Web Site

Childrcraft Education Corporation


Professional Resources

  • Math Play by Diane McGowan.
  • The Flannel Board Storytelling Book, 2nd Edition by Judy Sierra.


Texas Reading Club 2003 Programming Manual / Mission Possible Spy Book!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011