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NUMBER RHYMES
 

FOUR LITTLE BUGS

One little bug went out to play
On a spider’s web one day.

He had so much fun
He called for another bug to come.

Two little bugs went out to play
On a spider’s web one day.

They had so much fun
They called another bug to come.

Three little bugs went out to play
On a spider’s web one day.

They had so much fun
They called another bug to come.

Four little bugs went out to play
On a spider’s web one day.

Soon they made, quite a bunch
Then along came a spider,
Just in time for lunch!
                               Jean Warren

Have a small group of children act out the poem.

 
IN THE POND

One little girl rowing in the pond,
Then another girl came along.
How many girls now rowing in the pond?

Three little fish swimming in the pond,
Then another fish came along.
How many fish now swimming in the pond?

Two little birds flying over the pond,
Then two more birds came along.
How many birds now flying over the pond?

Four little ducks swimming in the pond,
Then two more ducks came along.
How many ducks now swimming in the pond?

Five butterflies over the pond,
Then three more butterflies came along.
How many butterflies now over the pond?
                                                Jean Warren

This is a great number rhyme to use with a felt board and cutouts.
Or you could have children act out the rhymes, to help visualize the amounts.
 

FIVE SUGAR COOKIES

Five sugar cookies
With frosting galore
Mother ate one
Then there was _____.

Four sugar cookies
Two and two, you see.
Father ate one
Then there was _____.

Three sugar cookies
And before I knew
Sister ate one
Then there was _____.

Two sugar cookies
Oh, what fun.
Brother ate one
Then there was_____.

One sugar cookie
I’ll grab it and run.
When I eat it,
There will be none!
                        Jean Warren

 
CLOCK SONG
Tune:  “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

Clocks go tick and clocks go tock.
Make your arms say _____ o’clock.
Clocks go tick and clocks go tock.
Clocks go tick and clocks go tock.
Clocks go tick and clocks go tock
Make your arms say ____ o’clock.
                        Betty Silkunas

Have your child move their hands like a clock as they sing this song.

Six and twelve o’clock are the easiest and three and six o’clock are the next easiest.
 

AN OLD MAN
( Here is a more understandable version of “This Old Man”  for preschoolers)

An old man, he played one,
He tapped a bone on his drum
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Banging with his bone,
Then the man went strolling home.

Another man, he played two,
He tapped a bone on his shoe
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Banging with his bone,
Then the man went strolling home.

Another man, he played three,
He tapped a bone on his knee
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Banging with his bone,
Then the man went strolling home.

Another man, he played four,
He tapped a bone on his door
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Banging with his bone,
Then the man went strolling home.

Another man, he played five,
He tapped a bone on a hive.
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Banging with his bone,
The bees came out, so he ran home!
                        Adapted Traditional by Jean Warren

Have your children act out this fun number rhyme.
Make up additional verses if you like.

 
FIVE LITTLE PEAS

Here is another fun number rhyme to act out.

Five little peas in a pea pod pressed,     (Five children squat down in a row)
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest.  (One at a time, children stretch their arms)
They grew and grew and did not stop,
Until at last, the pod did pop, 
One, two, three, four, five!  (Children pop up out of the pod, one at a time.)
               Adapted Traditional by Jean Warren
 

GRANDMA BAKED A CAKE

Grandma’s baked a cake for me.
See the candles, one, two, three.
I’ll put them out with one big blow
Ready, set, now here I go.
            Adapted Traditional by Jean Warren 

 
FIVE GOOD FRIENDS

Five good friends - outside having fun
Until a mother called for one
To come and clean the floor.
Five minus one, that leaves four.

Four good friends – outside having fun
Until a mother called for one
To come and have some tea.
Four minus one, that leaves three.

Three good friends – outside having fun
Until a mother called for one
To come and find her shoe.
Three minus one, that leaves two.

Two good friends – outside having fun
Until a mother called for one
To come home, ‘til his chores were done.
Two minus one, that leaves one.

One good friend – outside all alone
She stopped playing and also went home.
Now no one is outside having fun.
Now the friends outside is zero or none!
                 Adapted Traditional by Jean Warren
 

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB

Mary had a little lamb
It tried to count to ten
But when he got to five
1-2-3-4-5

He had to start again!

 
FOUR LITTLE COMETS

Four little comets winking at me;
One shot off, then there were three.

Three little comets with nothing to do;
One shot off, then there were two.

Two little comets afraid of the sun;
One shot off, that left one.

One little comet, having no fun;
It shot off, then there were none.
                         Jean Warren
 

COUNTING FEET

How many boots should a puppy buy
To keep his feet nice and dry?
Let’s count his feet and then we’ll know –
I can count, watch me go!
One, two, three, four.
Four new boots is what she should buy –
That will keep the puppy dry!
                                    Adapted Traditional

Continue with other animals and different amounts of feet.
 
THE ANTS GO MARCHING

Tune:  “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”

The ants go marching one by one, hurray! hurray!
The ants go marching one by one, hurray! hurray!
The ants go marching one by one
Then they stop and play their drums.
Oh, we’re oh so glad that the ants could come today!

Continue with additional verses.

The ants go marching two by two –they all bend down and touch their shoe.
The ants go marching three by three – they all bend down and slap their knee.
The ants go marching four by four – they’re raising money for the poor.
                      Adapted Traditional by Jean Warren
 

HICKORY, DICKORY, DOCK
Hickory, dickory, dock
What time is on the clock?
The clock struck one
Time for fun.
Hickory, dickory, dock.

Continue with other hours on the clock.
            The clock struck two – Time to chew
            The clock struck three – Time for tea
            The clock struck four – Time for more
            The clock struck five – Time to come alive
            The clock struck six – Time to light the wick

Adapted Traditional by Jean Warren

 
ONE POTATO
One potato, two potato
Three potato, four,
Five potato, six potato
Seven potato, MORE!

You could turn this into a real learning experience by letting your children actually count potatoes as they recite this poem.
 

I CAUGHT A FISH
One, two, three, four, five,
(Count on fingers)
I caught a fish alive.
(Hold up pretend fish)
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten
(Count on fingers)
I let it go again.
(Throw back fish)
 
ONE , TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE
One, two, buckle my shoe;
Three, four, shut the door;
Five, six, pick up sticks;
Seven, eight, lay them straight;
Nine, ten, a big fat hen!

Have your child pretend to do the actions as you recite the poem. Next, say the poem several times, leaving off the last word in each line for your child to finish.