Pre-school Theme Day

Number “1” Day

Once my son knew his letters I decided to tackle numbers in the same way, one at a time to reinforce what each symbol/number was. Having them individually helped him to recognize that each number is different just like each letter is different.

Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.



Many children’s albums feature counting songs.  Go through your CDs and see what you can find.

For something completely different play the song “789” by the Barenaked Ladies from their Snacktime album.




You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Number Coloring Pages” or print out my “1/One Present Colouring Page.” Be sure to have your child count out loud how many presents and how many bows.

Have your child colour my “Number Poem: 1 to 5” emphasizing the number 1 and what it looks like.



Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any number books.


Go to the library with your child to find books about numbers and counting.


Go to the library on your own to find counting books to have already on hand for your theme day.  Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (search for “numbers” or “counting” under “Children’s Books”).  Reserve them if you can to save time.


Try to find some of these fun counting books:


· One Gray Mouse, by Katherine Burton and illustrations by Kim Fernandes, Kids Can Press, 1997 – This book reviews the colours and numbers 1 to 10 in a neat pattern with lovely illustrations made from a pliable modeling material.


· One Hole in the Road, by W. Nikola-Lisa and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino – Henry Holt and Company, 1996 – By counting from 1 to 10 readers discover all the chaos that is created by one hole in the road.


· One is a snail Ten is a Crab, by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre and illustrated by Randy Cecil, Candlewick Press, 2003 – This book counts from 1 to 10 the feet of various creatures on a beach and shows how different combinations of those feet can create larger numbers.


· One Red Rooster, by Kathleen Sullivan Carroll and illustrated by Suzette Barbier, Houghton Millin Company, 1992 – This rhyming counting book reviews colours and the numbers 1 to 10 by using farm animals and their sounds.


· One Tractor: A Counting Book, by Alexander Siy and illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, Holiday House, 2008 – With fun watercolor illustrations this counting book shows a boy playing with various transportation toys in his back yard that appear to come to life.


· One Wolf Howls, by Scotti Cohn and illustrated by Susan Detwiler, Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2009—This book counts to 12 using wolves and the 12 months of the year with rhyming text and beautiful illustrations.


For a non-counting book about the number one try this title:


· One is Enough, by Julie Kidd Cook and illustrated by Melissa Iwai, Children’s Press, 2005 – This is an easy reader book for beginners with its simple text listing one of everything that a little girl likes.





Materials: A copy of my Number 1 Worksheet, old magazines and newspapers, child-safe scissors, washable glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers.


Step 1: Look through old magazines with your child and together look for the number one and pictures that represent one of something (like one shoe, one flower).

Step 2: Help your child cut out the numbers to glue on the Number 1 worksheet.

Step 3: Show your child how to glue the numbers onto the collage and then let him/her glue the pictures on the paper however he/she likes.

Step 4: When the collage is dry display (fridge, bulletin board, child’s door) or glue into Family Theme Day Scrapbook.




Materials: A copy of my Count to 1 Chart, various stickers or stamps and an ink pad.


Step 1: Have your child pick a sticker to put in each square.  Each square gets only 1 sticker as you are reviewing the number 1 today. Likewise you can let your child choose one different stamp for each square and stamp it on the ink pad and on the page one time .

Step 2: Count to one each time the sticker is applied/stamp is stamped and afterwards as a review.

Step 3: Display or glue the chart in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.


              1 CUPCAKE/1 CANDLE CRAFT:


Materials: Coloured paper, child safe scissors, glue stick, facecloth for sticky fingers, sticker of the number 1 (optional).


Step 1: Have your child pick four colours for the picture (background, cupcake wrapper,  top of cupcake and candle).

Step 2: Help your child draw and cut out a small rectangle for the candle.

Step 3: Help your child draw and cut out a fat oval shape for the top of the cupcake.

Step 4: Help your child draw and cut out a cupcake wrapper shape.

Step 5: Help your child draw and cut out a leaf shaped flame out of yellow or orange paper.

Step 6: Give your child all the pieces and show him/her how together they can make a cupcake.

Step 7: Let your child glue the pieces together counting how many of each shape: “One cupcake wrapper.  One cupcake.  One candle.  One flame.”

Step 8:  Optional—if you have number stickers let your child search though them to find the number one and then have him/her stick it to the picture.

Step 9: Let it dry and then display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.




Have 1 piece of toast with 1 topping for a snack.

1 small container of yogurt with 1 spoon would be a quick snack.

1 hardboiled egg is a protein filled snack.



1 bowl of soup with 1 spoon would make a warm Number 1 lunch.



Serve 1 cookie with one glass of milk.




Materials: a copy of my Number Chart and the Cut Out 1 Card, markers or crayons, child-safe scissors, glue-stick, face cloth for sticky fingers.


Step 1: Put the Number Chart on your fridge with magnets or pin it to a bulletin board or tape it to a wall.

Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out 1 Card.

Step 3: Help your child cut the Number 1 Card out.

Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Cut Out 1Card and glue it on the Number Chart by searching for the square with the small number 1 on it (or you can have your child use tape).

Step 5: Review what number it is by pointing to the chart throughout the week.



Materials: A paper egg carton, something to fill each cup (little toys or buttons in a re-sealable bag or use snack foods like Cheerio cereal, fish crackers or use treats like chocolate chips and marshmallows as we did), a black marker, a sheet of paper, child safe scissors.

Step 1: Help your child cut the egg carton’s lid off and then cut it to remove two egg compartments so that only 10 are left.

Step 2: Write the numbers 1 to 10 inside each compartment.

Step 3: Write the numbers 1 to 10 on the sheet of paper and help your child cut them out.

Step 3: Give your child the bag of toys/buttons/snacks/treats and have him/her count out 1 and then put it into the egg compartment with the number 1.

Step 4: Spread out the cut out numbers and after counting out the toy have your child find the number 1 and put it in the number 1 spot along with the toy/button/snack/treat. (If you used a snack let your child eat it afterwards).



Fill a pie plate with sand, sugar or salt and teach your child how to trace the number 1 in the sand.  When you are finished tracing dump the sand in a re-sealable bag to use on another day.



Review numbers using a set of flash cards (found at book stores, educational stores, even craft stores) or make your own by writing each letter on an individual index card (or by printing out my Number Cut-Out Page and gluing each number on index cards).




There are many different websites that offer games for preschoolers. You can find them by looking up your child’s favourite television characters.  Here is one from the Sesame Street website:

Big Bird’s Numbers is a simple game because it only involves your child pressing any key on the keyboard and then a number appears along with a picture that illustrates how many that is:



Walk around your neighbourhood counting different things.  You can also do this while in a car or bus etc..


Walk around your neighbourhood or in a store looking for the actual number 1.




If you have any number puzzles this theme day is the perfect time to play with it together.


Play with any other educational toys that focus on numbers.





Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with a focus on teaching numbers.

Here are some learning titles we found at our library:

· Baby Einstein: Numbers Nursery – Discovering 1 through 5, Disney, 2007 – Even though it geared to babies and toddlers this is a good review of the first 5 numbers.


· Leap Frog: Math Adventure to the Moon, Lionsgate, 2009 – Tad and Lily the frogs go on a rocket adventure to find the perfect collection of things for their school math assignment.


· Leap Frog: Math Circus, Lionsgate, 2004 – Leap, Lily and Tad the frogs help professor Quigley train numbers to count, add and subtract at the Math Circus.


· Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Numbers Roundup, Disney 2010 – Mickey and his friends about numbers and shapes in this DVD.


· The Numbers Express, Mazzarella Media – All aboard a train to learn the numbers!


· Sesame Street: Learning About Numbers, Sesame Street Workshop, 2004 – Big Bird hosts the Number Show.

Number “1” Collage

Count to 1 with stamps or stickers

Number 1 Craft: 1 Cupcake with 1 Candle

Egg carton counting

Number writing with sugar

You’re #1!

Photo: C Wright

CountTo1Stamps.jpg  CountTo1stickers.jpg

Number Poem 1 to 5—Printable Coloring Page