Most preschoolers begin school knowing how to count, but rarely can they identify the printed number. For this reason, teachers need activities for preschool children to help them learn the association between the two. It's always best to begin with more concrete concepts and then move to abstract activities, in order to give them an immersive experience.
Here you'll find 21 ways to teach the number 1.
1. Number Poster
Having a simple visual, such as this, helps preschool students to visually identify the number and what it represents. It's also a great way to help with counting skills, especially if you have every number displayed.
Learn more: Number Posters
2. Jack Hartmann Video
Jack Hartmann shows kids the number one in multiple ways to aid with number recognition. It's the perfect introduction to a fun math lesson on number one. This is one of my favorite counting songs as well. Jack Hartmann is such an amazing person for making these fun, yet instructional videos.
Learn more: Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel
3. Rebus Chart
What a cute idea! It involves some prep, and artistic ability, on your part, but will be worth the effort. Write out the song, draw the pictures and sing it with the kids. Then they can go back to it and practice on their own. It's perfect for reinforcing number 1 recognition and representation.
Learn more: Step By Step Child Care
4. Number Hunt
Find and circle all the number 1's. All you need is a sheet of paper and a pencil or crayon, making this a simple activity to set up. Highlighting the numbers could be a different way to reinforce this basic math skill as well. It can easily be turned into a counting game as well.
Learn more: My Teaching Station
5. Number Scramble
Find all the 1's and color them in. This can be a little challenging for some kids to look at, but will definitely be a fun activity for others. It might be fun to set a 30-second timer and see how many 1's students can find.
Learn more: Clever Learner
6. Let's Learn Number 1
I would print these out and laminate them for kids to be able to practice over and over again. I love that it has multiple ways for kids to practice this math concept, without being overwhelming. I could see this turned into a poster as well, by simply completing the box and circling the 1s.
Learn more: Shutterstock
7. Little One Egg Craftivity
How cute is this fun math craft? It comes with templates for you to trace and cut the pieces or you can print them on colored paper and then cut them out. These are bound to be lots of fun! It is found on Teachers Pay Teacher for the low price of $3, which is money well spent, once you see these completed.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
8. Number One Coloring
Two different options for coloring number 1. Trace and color can be used earlier on and then find the number later on in the learning journey. This is great for reinforcing basic math skills. Find the number is a fresh take on color by number.
Learn more: Dreamstime
Preschoolers love to use dot markers, so this is the perfect math activity for them. Using the dot markers is great for teaching kids how to properly hold a writing implement so they get clean dots. This template could also be used to glue pompoms on.
Learn more: My Teaching Station
10. Find and Color
Find the 1's and color them in! Change up how the 1's are covered, such as with paint, pompoms, or counters. This could also be sent home for students to practice their basic math skills at home, especially if laminated.
Learn more: Alamy
11. Number Fishbowl
Here's a cute activity that will also help with cutting skills. Kids get to choose a fish to glue in the fishbowl. Although it's not stated on the sheet, I would also have students practice writing the number 1 on the lines at the top of the page.
Learn more: Preschool Printable Activities
12. Road Numbers
Kids can use all different objects for this, but I think that cars would be best. Using real objects helps reinforce the skill. Minnie on the top makes this math activity even better. I would anchor them on construction paper and laminate them so they can be used over and over.
Learn more: Mega Workbook
13. Number Minibook
These are eight activities that get cut apart and stapled together to create a mini book for kids to keep and look back at. These activities for preschoolers will help any child with number recognition and build their basic math skills.
Learn more: Twisty Noodle
14. Very Hungry Caterpillar
This cute little caterpillar will help preschoolers learn how to write the number 1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been around for generations and this is a fun activity to tie into math skills. There are other variations on this activity as well.
Learn more: Kendra and Karen
15. Paper Plate Art
The directions call for using colored push pins, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable with that in the school setting. Alternatively, kids can glue pompoms, buttons, or anything else you have handy. This is a fun hands-on preschool number activity.
Learn more: Homeschool AEC
16. Number Puppets
Kids can decorate their puppets however they like and use them in a class play or just play with them in pairs or small groups. If you have a number 1 poem or song to go along with them, it would add to the fun.
Learn more: Preschool Activities
17. Felt Numbers
Cut out some felt number 1's and have kids add googly eyes and a dot. Using more concrete objects is beneficial in the earlier stages of number instruction. This "one" can be cut out of any color felt you'd like and you can let your students select the dot color as well.
Learn more: Preschool Crafts
18. Count to 1 Chart
Stamps, stickers, and more can be used to help preschool students learn the number 1 with a visual representation. I like an activity that can be easily adjusted to suit your needs and is one that any preschool child will enjoy.
Learn more: Family Theme Days
19. I Spy Number 1
Find the number one and cover it with a paint fingerprint. This is such a fun number activity for preschool students, which may get messy, but is going to help them be able to identify the number 1.
Learn more: Twinkl
20. Ladybug Coloring
Trace the number, write it, and color one ladybug. This activity gives kids a good foundation in math and is something that most should be able to do independently. This fun math sheet is guaranteed to please.
Learn more: Clever Learner
21. Number 1 Circle and Draw
Some boxes have students draw 1 object, while others ask them to circle. Either way, they are practicing their math skills in a fun way, even if it is on a sheet of paper, especially if they use colorful markers to complete it.
Learn more: ESL Printables