1. Overview

“Plus One” helps children understand that adding one more object results in the next number on the number line. Ultimately, children will be able to count by ones, twos, and threes, which leads into basic addition.

“Count the apples! Don’t forget the extra one!”
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2. Materials

Bean bags, pencils, grapes, and any other handy object.

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3. Activity

Video: How many crayons are there now?

Take a couple of objects, place them in front of your child, and let your child count the objects. Make sure you have your child touch each object as he numbers them.

Adult: [Places three objects in front of child]
Child: One! [Touches first object]
Two! [Touches second object]
Three! [Touches third object]

After your child has finished counting the objects, add one more object to the end. Ask your child to tell you how many objects there are now. If your child struggles, allow him to recount all the objects.

[Adds one more object]
Now you many objects are there?
Child: One.
Adult: Oh no! Recount them!
Child: One! [Touches first object]
Two! [Touches second object]
Three! [Touches third object]
Four! [Touches fourth object]

After your child answers correctly, try the activity again with a different number of objects. In every repetition, remember to add only one more object.

4. Extension

Once your child has mastered the basic game, try this variation: Place a number of objects in front of your child. Have her count the objects. After he has completed counting, hide the objects and ask your child “How many objects am I hiding?”

Adult: [Places three objects in front of child]
Child: One! [Touches first object]
Two! [Touches second object]
Three! [Touches third object]
[Hides objects]
How many objects am I hiding?
Child: Three.

If your child answers incorrectly, reveal the objects and have your child recount them. Then hide them again and repeat. If your child answers correctly, add one more object and reveal the objects you were hiding. Now ask your child how many objects there are. If your child answers incorrectly, have him recount the objects and try again.