There are so many wonderful books out there that introduce or explore mathematical concepts through story. If your child enjoys books, then adding a few of these to your collection can be a great way to factor in a little maths without the need to explicitly teach.
Babies and Toddlers
On a practical level, I'm sharing links to board books here, for obvious reasons. Most are available in paperback too, if you prefer.
Our very favourite maths book for this age is Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. I love Helen Oxenbury's illustrations, and the gentle rhyming text is lovely to read aloud.
We are big fans of the independent children's book publisher Barefoot Books (women-owned and run), who specialise in books that represent different cultures and perspectives. Here are a few that have a math focus:
We loved the Child's Play 'Books with Holes' series at this age too. There are lots in the series, with many traditional children's songs and rhymes covered. Here are a couple with a math focus:
And a few more that have been popular here:
Bear and Hare: Where's Bear? - I couldn't find an affiliate link for this one on it's own, sorry. It seems to only be available as part of a collection.
Preschool (3-5 years)
Another lovely Barefoot Book is My Granny Went to Market, which tells the story of a Granny who travels the world, collecting cultural items on her magic carpet.
The Ten Little... series was wildly popular with my mindees at this age, and there are lots in the series to choose from (10, at the time of writing). Here are a few examples:
And a few more that have been popular here:
Children (4-8 years)
How Many Legs? - This book is recommended for age 3-5, but I think, from a mathematical perspective, it is more suitable for the 4-8 age bracket. Cumulative addition can be explored as the animals join the party.
We've enjoyed these ones over the years too:
Actual Size - This book is a must have. It's a big book, but every creature (or part of a creature) that features is 'to scale'. I noticed that there's a Prehistoric version too, for any dinosaur fans out there.
Other books that we recommend on the theme of shape, size and measure:
The MathStart series are excellent for this age bracket. There are 63 books in the collection, with 21 in each of three levels. Level 1 is aimed at 3+ years; Level 2 at 6+ years; and Level 3 at 7+ years. There are far too many to link here, but the few that we have read, we have enjoyed. Just beware, the books are American, so any with a currency theme will be in dollars.
Level 1 (3+ years)
Level 2 (6+ years)
Level 3 (7+ years)
Children (7-11 years)
The Maths Quest series are excellent for this age bracket. There are four in the series. The Museum of Mysteries, with a focus on number; The Cavern of Clues, with a focus on calculation; The Mansion of Mazes, with a focus on shape, space and measure; and The Planet of Puzzles, with a focus on data handling. Each book takes you on an adventure, with your answers to the various challenges determining the path you take through the book. It's self correcting, so if you make a mistake, you are eventually directed back to the same challenge. Bean loves these books.
While searching for the affiliate links for these books, I discovered another series that looks similar, called Quest Adventures. This is a collection of 12 books, with four each on the theme of maths, history and science. I cannot vouch for these, as haven't read them yet, but I've ordered them for Bean's upcoming 11th birthday.
It's often the case that buying books as a collection is the more affordable option, but here are the links for the maths ones, in case you'd prefer to buy them individually. Most are available second hand.
I hope you find inspiration here. I'd love to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting us through our affiliate links. Today, I have taken delivery of a wooden swing seat, bought entirely with the income I have made through sharing affiliate links. Bean doesn't know yet, but once our extension is complete, it will be hanging in the middle of our dining room. Thank you
This blog post contains affiliate links. If you do click through, Bean and I will receive a small amount of commission which will contribute to new books and resources for her home education. You can, however, find all of these resources elsewhere, including other online retailers, second hand selling pages and your local library.