Favourite story books for introducing kids to math
Children's story books are not just good for developing reading and literacy skills - they can help foster a good understanding of math, and for kids who love being read to (which, let's face it, is most kids) they can help us to introduce mathematical concepts in a fun, relaxed way.
As you'll know, there are hundreds and hundreds of first board and picture books that promote numbers, counting and shape, and they are a great way to introduce kids to these early mathematical concepts.
Some of these books also weave the counting into intriguing stories, which some of our Komodo kids loved reading again and again:
Early years and pre-school
Ten Black Dots, by Donald Crews
This one is deceptively simple, but the stark black dots are great visually for younger children and really stand out on the page, so it's a good starter for learning about counting. You can also find lots of ideas for math activities with this book online.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
Kids love to hear the story of the cute caterpillar munching his way through pieces of fruit, and it's an amazing introduction to counting from one to five.
One Ted Falls Out of Bed, by Julia Donaldson
This tale of bedtime adventure integrates the numbers from one to ten so neatly into the story that you almost don't notice they are there. It's a book children will want to read over and over, and really helps with cementing the order of numbers to ten, both forwards and backwards.
Ten Apples up on Top, by Dr Seuss
Dr Seuss is another storyteller that kids can listen to on repeat - and this one integrates numbers beautifully into a typically whacky story with easy language that is perfect for children who are just learning to read. As things get crazier towards the end of the story, you can use the iconic illustrations as a springboard for some extra math questions, and your kids probably won't even realise they're doing calculations.
Introducing addition, subtraction and beyond
Monster Math, by Anne Miranda
This fun book takes the traditional counting to ten stories to the next level, introducing counting in tens up to 50 and then some subtraction too, all while there's a crazy monster party going on.
Spinderella, by Julia Donaldson
Spinderella lives in a family of spiders who have no interest in numbers - their football matches are unfair and their scoring system is a disaster until Spinderella takes a math class and introduces counting, division and multiplication into their lives. This is a great story for reinforcing how much we use math on a daily basis, and how important it is!
The number zero
None the Number, by Oliver Jeffers
The concept of 'none' or the number 'zero' is one that is often overlooked, but this quirky book explores it through a debate between two characters, accompanied by humorous illustrations. It's a great intro to counting, because as the author himself explains, 'none is sometimes the answer when you're asked to count something.'
Inch by Inch, Leo Lionni
A little inchworm avoids being eaten by a bird by proving his usefulness at measuring things. This great story starts kids thinking about units of measurement and the different ways of calculating the size of things - some of our Komodo kids measured the entire house using their own bodies as a unit of measurement after reading this one!
Let us know your favourite story books for teaching numbers so we can add them to our list! Email email@example.com or drop us a line on social media.
About Komodo – Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost K-5 math skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use at home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning math (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in math – without keeping them at the screen for long.
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