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10 Counting Songs to Teach Your Kids

Counting songs are a fun way to teach your children to count forwards and backwards and can help build their developing number concept and early maths skills.

In this article I’ll share 10 fun rhymes.

How Do Children Learn From a Number Song?

Songs with numbers help children to memorise the order of numbers to 10 and beyond, as well as to say the numbers backwards.

Children don’t have to be forced to learn the numbers in a boring way because they will be learning incidentally through singing.

The rhythm in songs and rhymes, as well as the repetitive verses, help children memorise the numbers easily and a concept of the value of numbers is built.

When children sing a song about 5 of something, which then becomes 4 when one leaves, and then 3, they learn that a number is not just a word but it represents a value. They learn about one-to-one correspondence.

Any form of learning that involves fun and play is effective in early childhood. It is the natural way children learn.

Early academic instruction is ineffective and can even be harmful during the preschool years.

10 Counting Songs for Kids

Here are 10 fun counting rhymes to teach your kids. Some are old favourites and some are newer rhymes.

Some of these teach rote counting forwards or backwards (e.g. reciting from one to 10) and some teach number concept (e.g. there were 5, one fell off, now there are 4).

Watch the video below for a list of the songs or read on for the lyrics.

1. The Ants Go Marching

The ants go marching

The ants go marching one by one
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one
The little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

Repeat the verses, changing the number of ants and the action line:

The ants go marching two by two
The little one stops to tie his shoe

The ants go marching three by three
The little one stops to climb a tree

The ants go marching four by four
The little one stops to shut the door

The ants go marching five by five
The little one stops to take a dive

The ants go marching six by six
The little one stops to pick up sticks

The ants go marching seven by seven
The little one stops to pray to heaven

The ants go marching eight by eight
The little one stops to roller skate

The ants go marching nine by nine
The little one stops to check the time

The ants go marching ten by ten
The little one stops to shout, “The End!”

Listen to the tune on YouTube

2. Ten Green Bottles

Ten green bottles
Hanging on the wall
Ten green bottles
Hanging on the wall
And if one green bottle
Should accidentally fall
There’ll be nine green bottles
Hanging on the wall

Nine green bottles…

Eight green bottles…

Repeat verses until there are no green bottles left:

One green bottle
Hanging on the wall
One green bottle
Hanging on the wall
If that one green bottle
Should accidentally fall
There’ll be no green bottles
Hanging on the wall

Listen to the tune on YouTube

3. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Girl tying her shoe buckle

One, two
Buckle my shoe
Three, four
Shut the door
Five, six
Pick up sticks
Seven, eight
Don’t be late
Nine, ten
Do it over again!

Listen to the tune on YouTube

4. Ten Little Fingers

10 Fingers

Ten little fingers, ten little toes,
Two little ears and one little nose
Two little eyes that shine so bright
And one little mouth to kiss mother goodnight.

Listen to the tune on YouTube

5. Ten in a Bed

There were ten in the bed
And the little one said,
“Roll over! Roll over!”
So they all rolled over and
one fell out

There were nine in the bed…

There were eight in the bed…

Repeat verses until there are none left in the bed:

There was one in the bed
And the little one said,

“Alone at last!”

Listen to the tune on YouTube

6. Five Fat Sausages

sausages frying in a pan

Five fat sausages sizzling in a pan 
The grease got hot – and one went “BANG”!

Four fat sausages sizzling in a pan 
The grease got hot – and one went “BANG”!

Three fat sausages sizzling in a pan 
The grease got hot – and one went “BANG”!

Two fat sausages sizzling in a pan 
The grease got hot – and one went “BANG”!

One fat sausage sizzling in a pan 
The grease got hot – and it went “BANG”!

No fat sausages frying in a pan.

Listen to the tune on YouTube

7. Five Little Speckled Frogs

Speckled frog

Five little speckled frogs
Sat 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 speckled frogs!
GLUB! GLUB!

Four little speckled frogs…

Three little speckled frogs…

Repeat verses until there are no speckled frogs left:

One little speckled frog
Sat 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 speckled frogs!

Listen to the tune on YouTube

Here are more fun animal songs for preschoolers.

8. One, Two, Three, Four, Five

One, two, three, four, five,
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right

Listen to the tune on YouTube

9. Five Little Snowmen

Cute snowman

Five little snowmen standing in a line
One, Two, Three, Four, Five
So fine
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh
We’ll see you next year
Bye Bye!

Four little snowmen standing in a line
One, Two, Three, Four
So fine
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh
We’ll see you next year
Bye Bye!

Repeat verses until there are no snowmen left:

One little snowman standing in a line
One
So fine
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh
We’ll see you next year
Bye Bye!

Listen to the tune on YouTube

10. Rabbits

Rabbits-rabbits 1 2 3
Will you come and play with me?
Camels-camels 4 5 6
Why do you have a hump like this?
Monkeys-monkeys 7 8 9 
Will you teach me how to climb?
When I have counted up to ten 
The elephant says now start again.

Listen to the tune on YouTube

Those are 10 of my favourite counting rhymes but there are many more to choose from! Check out this awesome list of preschool songs.


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Emily

Sunday 20th of December 2020

I had completely forgotten about some of these songs! My little guy has just been diagnosed as ADD. He is having trouble with learning at school & I’m trying to think of fun ways to help him at home. The expectations at school for a four year old to learn are ridiculous anymore! When I was little kindergarten was about learning through play. Not doing worksheets!

Tanja Mcilroy

Friday 1st of January 2021

Apologies for the late response Emily. I missed this comment. It really is sad how much the focus has shifted onto academics nowadays. At least your son has a mom who is researching fun things to keep him learning!

Priscilla Darkwa

Monday 6th of May 2019

Please, I do need help with my 4 year old. Thanks

Tanja Mcilroy

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Hi Priscilla, Have you downloaded my free mini course yet? You can do so here https://empoweredparents.co/teach-my-preschooler/ There is tons of useful information for you to help with your little one. Have a great day Tanja

michelle potrzeba

Monday 29th of April 2019

Memorize is spelled wrong on the 2nd page FYI Just thought you might want to know.

Tanja Mcilroy

Monday 29th of April 2019

Hi Michelle,

Thanks so much for letting me know. I can't seem to find it. Is it in this article or on a different page of my website? Are you perhaps referring to the fact that it is spelt on this article with an s? It is just the British spelling that I've used.

Amanda N. Davis, Ph. D.

Wednesday 8th of August 2018

Dear Tanja-

You somehow connected with my email and I have been receiving Emails from Empowered Parents. I am a retired math teacher educator who is passionate about the importance of incorporating math into conversations we have with children in the early years. When you have a chance, please go to my website at www.powerstartmath.com.

I just requested your Teach-My-Preschooler guide. Also, I live in Birmingham, Alabama. Are you here, too? Please contact me. I would love to meet you. More detailed contact information for me is on my website.

Tanja Mcilroy

Friday 10th of August 2018

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for your message. I'm actually from South Africa!

I love your website and would encourage my readers to read your articles. I really agree with the opening line of one of your articles:

"Now, remember that our intent is not to push academic, primary work down into preschool but to take advantage of the early years for giving children early, hands-on experiences that will lead to deep understandings of some of the basics before the primary grades."

This pretty much sums up the message I am trying to spread to parents - preparing young preschoolers through play and hands-on experiences. There is too much emphasis nowadays on trying to force young children to learn academic skills they are not ready for. Preschoolers don't learn Maths through worksheets, but through play and the kinds of power-chats you talk about.

Contact me anytime at tanja@empoweredparents.co

Have a great day Tanja

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