Counting 'Til the Pigs Come Home


Animals and insects line up to be counted in painted scenes.


1. Cover your work area with newspaper. At the top of your paper, use Crayola® Washable Watercolors and Crayola So Big Brushes to a paint background scene, such as a farm, garden, or ocean. Leave space at the bottom for a description. Dry.

2. Imagine what kinds of creatures live in the setting, such as pigs on a farm, bugs in a garden, and fish in an ocean. On a separate sheet of paper, use Crayola Washable Markers to draw a set of creatures. Cut out each creature with Crayola Scissors.

3. Count your creatures. Attach them to your dry watercolor scene with a Crayola Washable Glue Stick.

4. With markers, describe your scene using words and numerals. Exchange scenes with classmates to count and read each other's work.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Write stories, songs, or poems about the scenes, incorporating counting as an integral element. For example, write a story about a pig that gets lost, causing the farmer to repeatedly count the pigs. Or write a song about bugs in a garden that gets more and more crowded, counting the bugs in the refrain.
  • Each child chooses a different setting (forest, space, classroom, kitchen, football stadium) and a different number of items to count. Compile artwork and captions into a class counting book to take home for additional counting practice.
  • Younger children and special needs students may need assistance with using scissors and keeping track of small pieces. Arrange helper partners as needed.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • Washable Watercolors
  • So Big® Brush
  • Glue Sticks
  • Blunt-Tip Scissors
  • Giant Marker and Watercolor Pad
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • container(s) of water



  • Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Special Needs


  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Visual Arts


  • Less than 1/2 hour
  • 30 to 60 minutes


  • Children practice counting skills, connecting the abstract to the concrete by creating scenes and adding animals and insects to be counted.

  • Children write about their counting scenes, using words to describe mathematical ideas.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards