Counting Activity with 1,2,3 to the Zoo

Eric Carle’s books are read on repeat at my house, and 1,2,3 TO THE ZOO a counting book, has become a new favorite. It is a wordless counting book that takes animals on a train ride to reach the zoo. This book leads itself to multiple different educational practice opportunities and activities. 

Why is 1,2,3 to the Zoo a great read-aloud book for preschool children?

Eric Carle’s books are vibrant in color and perfectly worded and in some books perfeclty wordless for child exploration and learning. My toddler and preschooler equally loved reading 1,2,3 To The Zoo. Both kids pointed, counted, and identified animals and numbers on each page. I loved the border on the bottom of each page that showed a number line train of all the animals illustrated since the first page of the book was in order, from 1-10. That number line helped with the sequence of events comprehension as well as provided an adding activity.

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What educational activities can I do with my child after reading 1,2,3 to the Zoo

I love Eric Carle’s website and found it filled with resources. He also shows children how to paint like he does for his books and gives further information about the inspiration for his books.

An activity that we loved creating at home was using magnetic tiles and animal figurines. We have been growing our collection of magnetic shapes for a while now. We have some Magna-tiles, some Picasso. Every kit we have purchased has been money well spent since our kids use these every day in every way imaginable.

So after reading 1,2,3 TO THE ZOO, my daughter thought it would be fun to take a train. We grabbed ALL our magnetic tiles and got to work.

Set-up for 1,2,3 To The Zoo counting activity.

I decided to add the rainbow layer for added vocabulary practice for my son. We made a simple cube design with each color of tiles. I wrote on the tiles using an expo marker on the titles for this activity and let my daughter represent the numbers with gems.

Then my son picked animal figurines he wanted for each car on the train to count from 1-10. It turned into an excellent exercise for both my toddler and preschooler. 

What is a math activity that my child can create after reading 1,2,3 to the Zoo

We used tangrams and created zoo animals. We usually follow the pattern sheets with our kit, but it was fun to have my kids create different animals with me without a template to follow. We also read Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert for this activity and we compared and contrasted the animals in the books. 

Animal creation after reading Color Zoo and 1,2,3 To The Zoo.

How can this book help with number recognition for preschoolers? 

The last page folds out to show all the animals in the zoo; this conclusion is perfect for reviewing counting the animals from the book. For example, I asked my son, “How many monkeys are now in the zoo?”. He pointed and counted with me to demonstrate understanding. This page also helped with a sequence of events and cordial numbers. For instance, “Which animal was on the train first? How many elephants are there now at the zoo?”

My kids loved playing with this activity all morning. Our next mission is to make it move with Magnatile cars next!

Thank you for visiting Live Learn Literacy. I hope you found this post helpful. For additional learning activities please see other posts I have created. For older children please visit my writing activity website

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