Free World U top bar image
Free World U Blog Graphic

Fun with Math

by Miriam Downey 13. March 2014 13:16

The children in my family decided to play a trick on me while I was on vacation in February. They found a box of little ducks I had put away--about 70 ducks in all. They hid the ducks all over the house. I have been finding them ever since I got home. I found one today on top of the door bell. Well, the games have continued because my three-year-old granddaughter thinks it is really funny to hide them again and again. So, we have played all kinds of counting games with them. The ducks have three kinds of necklaces on them, and her favorite game is to find four ducks that have the same necklaces and then find one that has a different necklace. Then we sing: "One of these things is not like the other. One of these things doesn't belong. Can you guess which one is not like the other? By the time I finish this song."


Additionally (no pun intended), I brought home a lot of shells from the beach. She has spent a lot of time sorting the shells into categories: big shells; little shells; shells with holes in them; big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest; groups of three; groups of four. You get the idea.

The point of all this is that mathematics is all around us, and children love math games. From simple sorting games, like those I have just described, to carpentry, grocery shopping, and cookie baking, children are learning math.

I came upon a list of mathematically-themed books that children love, and I picked out about 20 of my favorites to include in today's blog posting. The rest can be found here. All are available at the library or bookstore. I have also included some great elementary school math websites at the end of the book list. Happy counting.

Preschool and Kindergarten Books

The Button Box by Reid. Grandma's button box contains treasures and activities.

A Caribbean Counting Book by Charles and Arenson. Counting rhymes from the Caribbean.

The Doorbell Rang by Hutchins. A common problem about fair sharing.

From One to One Hunderd by Sloat. Counts to ten and then counts by ten.

Grandfather Tang's Story: A Tale Told with Tangrams by Tompert. Geometric shapes and patterns.

The Icky Bug Counting Book by Pallotta. Bugs, numbers, and alphabet combined.

Grades 1-3

Math Curse by Scieszka and Smith. The main character in the book thinks of everything in life as a math problem.

The M & M Counting Book by McGrath. What could be better? M & Ms and counting

How Big is a Foot? by Myller. How does measurement relate to the real world?

The Eleventh Hour by Base. Lots of visual clues and hidden messages.

A Chair for My Mother by Williams. Saving money to buy a new chair.

Math in the Bath by Atherly. Mathematics as part of daily experience.

Mojo Means One: Swahili Counting Book by Feelings. Besides counting the book includes lots of East African Culture.

Grades 4-6

Mathematics by Adler. Teaches children about interesting aspects of math.

If You Made a Million by Schwartz. Explores the use of different coins to equal sums of money.

The I Hate Mathematics Book by Burns. Games and tricks to show readers how to be a mathematical heavyweight.

G is for Googol by Schwartz. Full of interesting mathematics vocabulary.

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Neuschwander. Diameter and circumference.

Websites with good mathematics games and activities.

Math Playground

Hooda Math

Math Play


Add comment

  Country flag

  • Comment
  • Preview

About the author


Page List

Month List

Free World U bottom bar image