Author: Illustrated by Keith Baker

4-Year-Olds Poetry/Songs

This award-winning book is a colorful and beautifully illustrated rendition of the traditional nursery rhyme, “1, 2, Buckle My Shoe.”

Before, During and After Reading

Phonological Awareness

If your child knows the nursery rhyme, “1, 2, Buckle My Shoe”, recite it with him several times before showing him the book.    

Phonological Awareness

Read the pages rhythmically with emphasis on the rhyming words.  You might identify and name the rhyming words. For example,

Two, Shoe. Two, Shoe. They rhyme. They both end with oo

After you’ve read the book several times, pause before you say the rhyming word. See if your child jumps in with the rhyme

Oral Language

This book includes numbers and counting. It’s a great opportunity to expose your child to the language of math. You can ask your child to count the objects on a page, or talk about which group has more, which has less, and which groups have the same number. You can also focus on opposites:  long/short, big/little, round/straight. It’s about exposing your child to this language — we don’t expect him to know all the answers yet. 

Phonological Awareness

Find pictures in magazines or clip art on the computer for the rhyming words in the story: shoe, door, sticks in a pile, sticks laid out in straight lines, big fat hen. Place the pictures on the floor or table in front of your child. Say the rhyme without using the book. Pause before saying the rhyming word. Ask your child to touch the picture that represents the rhyming word and to say the rhyming word. 

Oral Language

Hold up two fingers and ask your child to tell you how many fingers are up.  Switch to show different quantities from one to five. See if your child can tell you how many fingers you’re holding up without counting them. If he needs to count, that’s fine; just continue to give him lots of practice in counting and trying to name the quantity quickly without counting. 

Oral Language

If weather permits, go outside and draw five large boxes on the sidewalk or driveway with chalk. In the first box, write 1, 2. In the second box, write 3, 4. Ask your child to jump into each box as you say the rhyme and pretend to do the corresponding actions (i.e., as he jumps in the box with 1, 2, he can pretend to buckle his shoe).

Discover more easy at-home activities designed to build pre-reading skills in your four-year-old, or or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.