Early Childhood Counting Rhymes

Early Childhood Counting Rhymes

Children learn best through rhyme and repetition. When I taught in Early Years classrooms, this mode of learning was well received by the children and engaged them in many learning opportunities, without formalising the learning they were engaging with. The following rhymes I am sharing with you today, are great for transitions and time fillers. Using fingers and actions, children will be engaged as they learn early number concepts as practising some fine motor movements to strengthen up those little fingers for writing.

Five Cookies (Action poem)
Five little cookies in the bakery shop.
Shining bright with the sugar on top.
Along comes (child’s name) with a nickel to pay.
He/she buys a cookie and takes it away.
(continue with four, three, two and one).

Five Fat Peas (A counting finger play especially useful in the Spring and Summer)
Five fat peas in a pea pod pressed (children hold hand in a fist)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest (put thumb and fingers up one by one)
They grew and grew (raise hand int he air very slowly)
And did not stop,
Until one day
The pod went POP! (children clap hands together)

Birds (Poem)
There was one little bird in a little tree,
He was all alone, and he didn’t want to be.
So he flew far away, over the sea,
And brought back a friend to live in the tree.
(Substitute two, three, etc. for one as you finish the verse)

Turtles (Poem)
One baby turtle alone and new.
Finds a friend, and then there are two.
Two baby turtles crawl down to the sea.
They find another, and then there are three.
Three baby turtles crawl along the shore.
They find another, and then there are four.
Four baby turtles go for a dive.
Up swims another, and then there are five.

Five Little Bees
One little bee blew and flew,
He met a friend and that made two.
Two little bees, busy as could be,
Along came another and that made three.
Three little bees, wanted one more,
Found one soon and that made four.
Four little bees, going to the hive,
Spied their little brother, and that made five.
Five little bees working every hour,
Buzz away, bees, and find another flower.

Counting Apples (A finger play)
Five red apples
Hanging on a tree (five fingers help up)
The juiciest apples you ever did see!
The wind came past
And gave an angry frown (shake head and look angry)
And one little apple came tumbling down.
Four red apples, etc.

Monkeys In A Tree (Action poem)
Five little monkeys (five fingers held up)
Sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile,
“You can’t catch me.”
“You can’t catch me.”
Along comes Mr. Crocodile
As quiet as can be…
SNAP!! (clap hands together like a crocodile)
(Continue until all monkeys are gone then add at the end…)
Away swims Mr. Crocodile
As full as he can be!!!!

Five Little Firefighters (A finger play)
Five little fire fighters sit very still (hold up five fingers)
Until they see a five on top of the hill
Number one rings the bell, ding-dong (bend down thumb)
Number 2 pulls his big boots on (bend down pointer finger)
Number 3 climbs on the truck right away (bend down middle finger)
Number 4 joins him, no one can wait (bend down ring finger)
Number 5 drives the truck to the fire (bend down little finger)
The big yellow flames go higher and higher (spread arms)
Whoo-oo! Whooo-ooo! Hear the fire truck say (imitate siren)
As all of the cars get out of the way.
Shhhh! Goes the water from the fire hose spout, (rub palms together)
And quicker than a wink the fire is out! (clap hands)

Ten Little Firemen (Preschool children perform the actions that the words suggest)
Ten little firemen sleeping in a row, (extend both hand, fingers curled)
Ding dong goes the bell (pull bell cord with one hand)
And down the pole they go (close both fists, put one on top of the other, slide down pole)
Off on the engine, oh, oh, oh. (steer engine with hands)
Using the big hose, so, so, so.
When all the fire’s out, home sooo slow (steer engine with hands)
Back to bed, all in a row (extend both hands with fingers curled)

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!

Let me know if you have any of your own favourite rhymes by adding them in the comments box below! Happy teaching!!