1,2,3, Look at Me!

Books to Share

Bedtime in the Jungle by John Butler
Let’s Count Goats! by Mem Fox
Quack and Count by Keith Baker
Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood
Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz

Books to Show or Booktalk

1-2-3: A Child’s First Counting Book by Alison Jay
Daddy Hugs 1-2-3 by Karen Katz
Five for a Little One by Chris Raschka
Goodnight Moon 1 2 3 by Margaret Wise Brown
My Love for You by Susan L. Roth

Bulletin Board

How Many Fun Books Can You Find?

Affix copies of book jackets from ten counting books along with large numerals 1-10.


I’m #1!

On each rectangle, write “I’m #1!” across the top, leaving room for the child’s name across the bottom.  Make enough for each child.

Graphic of pattern for a nametag that says I'm #1


Five Little Peas

(“Five Little Peas” in Early Literacy Storytimes @ Your Library by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Díaz. Chicago: American Library Association, 2006, p. 92. Used with permission from the American Library Association.)

Five little peas in a pea pod pressed.   (make a fist)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest.   (fingers come out one by one)
They grew and they grew   (fingers out wide)
And they did not stop   (raise hand high)
Till all of a sudden
The pod went POP!   (loud clap)

Repeat two or three times and clap together.


1-2-3-4-5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive  (Traditional)

1-2-3-4-5, once I caught a fish alive.
6-7-8-9-10, then I let it go again.

What did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on the right.

Dance and Movement Songs

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (Traditional)

One, two, buckle my shoe.   (pretend to buckle shoes)
Three, four, shut the door.   (move hand through air like closing a door)
Five, six, pick up sticks.   (sweep hand on floor)
Seven, eight, lay them straight.   (place hand to the floor as if placing sticks one at a time)
Nine, ten, a big red hen.   (flap “wings” and strut like a chicken.)

Action Rhymes

Count with Me

 (“Count with Me” from Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds by Judy Nichols. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007. Used with permission from the American Library Association. For each verse, hold up fingers 1-5 as you count.)

Count with me in Spanish.
Count with me and see.
Counting in Spanish
Is as easy as can be!
One is uno [oo-no].
Two is dos [dose].
Three is tres [trace].
Four is cuatro [kwa-tro].
Five is cinco [seen-ko].
Count with me in Spanish:
Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco.
It’s as easy as can be!

Verse 2:

Count with me in Swahili…

One is moja [mo-jah].
Two is mbili [im-bee-lee].
Three is tatu [tah-too].
Four is nne [nah-nay].
Five is tano [tah-no].

Verse 3:

Count with me in Japanese…

One is ichi [ee-chee].
Two is ni [nee].
Three is san [sahn].
Four is shi [shee].
Five is go [goh].

Audio Recordings

“One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” on Early Childhood Classics: Old Favorites with a New Twist by Hap Palmer

Puppet Play / Flannel Board

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

(Make a puppet play or flannel board of this traditional song and movement activity.  For the backdrop, use blue for the pond. Across the front of the stage or flannel board, fashion a “log” from paper, fabric or cardboard. Make five green, speckled frog stick puppets or flannel board pieces using the pattern provided. If using stick puppets, leave the legs free so that they can “sit” on the log until time to “jump into the pool.” Begin with all five frogs sitting on the log.  Remove them one at a time as the song indicates.

Five green and speckled frogs
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs.
Yum! Yum!
One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool.
Then there were four green, speckled frogs.

Four green and speckled frogs…
Three green and speckled frogs…
Two green and speckled frogs…

One green and speckled frog
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs.
Yum! Yum!
He jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool.
Then there were no green, speckled frogs.

A graphic of a pattern of an outline of a frog


1, 2, 3, Count with Me!
  • Construction paper in various colors, one sheet per child
  • Numerals 1, 2, and 3 cut out of construction paper of various colors, one set of three per child
  • Glue sticks
  • Markers

Before storytime, cut out numerals using patterns or using numeral dies.  Give each child a set of numerals (1,2,3) and a sheet of construction paper.  Assist the children in gluing the numerals to their page.  Label each page “1, 2, 3, Count with Me!” either before storytime or as each child completes the gluing.  Write each child’s name on his or her paper.

Games and Activities

Let’s Count Goats

Use Mem Fox’s book, Let’s Count Goats, as a flannel board with goats and numerals.  Make one goat as described on each counting page. Add goats one at a time, each time you reach the question page.  Encourage children to count with you each time the question comes, “But can you count…?”

Professional Resources

Early Literacy Storytimes @ Your Library: Partnering with Caregivers for Success by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Díaz
Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds by Judy Nichols

Page last modified: January 18, 2012