Living books for counting are so helpful for teaching early number concepts to young children and to help older children conceptualize really big numbers. This post includes some of my favorites to help you do both of those things.
Why add counting books to your plan for homeschool math? They help familiarize children with the meaning of numbers. It’s a very abstract thing to understand what numbers mean and what counting represents. Books and other things like manipulatives really help build pictures in a child’s mind so that numbers and counting make sense.
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Living Books for Counting
I just love these living books for counting. They gently teach the idea of one-to-one correspondence (which is number sense) and growing numbers. A few of them also touch on mathematical concepts like sorting, too.
Most of the books on this list deal with the numbers 1-20, which is foundational for moving into addition and subtraction.
- 1, 2, 3 To the Zoo by Eric Carle
- 12 Ways to Get to 11 by Eve Merriam
- A Bag Full of Pups by Dick Gackenbach
- Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno
- Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
- Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra
- Five Silly Fishermen by Roberta Edwards
- How Many Bugs in a Box? by David A. Carter
- How Many Snails? by Paul Giganti
- Just Enough Carrots by Stuart J. Murphy
- M&M’s Brand Counting Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
- Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh
- One Dragon’s Dream by Peter Pavey
- One Red Sun by Ezra Jack Keats
- Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth
- Six-Dinner Sid by Inga Moore
- So Many Cats by Beatrice Schenk
- Spaghetti and Meatballs for All by Marilyn Burns
- Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Suess
- Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
- Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale
- Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
- The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- The Water Hole by Graeme Base
- Turtle Splash! by Cathryn Falwell
- We All Went On Safari by Laurie Krebs
Living Books About One Hundred
Once basic counting is well underway, it’s just a hop, skip, and jump for children to learn to count to 100. Use these books to make 100 come to life. They are especially fun to read each year when the 100th day of school rolls around!
- 100 Bugs by Kate Narita
- 100 Snowmen by Jen Arena
- I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words by Michael Frith
- One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J Pinczes
- One Hundred Shoes by Charles Ghinga
- One Watermelon Seed by CeliaLottridge
- The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley
- The Wolf’s Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza
Living Books About Big Numbers
Big numbers are especially abstract. It’s hard for children to wrap their minds around numbers like 1,000, 100,000, 1,000,000, and bigger. These books present those giant numbers in ways that help children to understand the size significance of how big they really are.
- How Big is a Million? by Ann Milbourne
- How Many Jellybeans? by Andrea Menotti
- How Much is a Million by David M Schwartz
- If You Made a Million by David M Schwartz
- Millions of Cats by Wanda Gág
- Millions, Billions, and Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers by David A. Adler
- Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens by Cindy Neuschwander
We use living books in every single subject in our homeschool because they add understanding, richness, and interest for all ages. Math is no exception! Living math books have been key in familiarizing my children with math concepts from preschool through middle school.
Living Math Booklists
I have written other posts about living math books that you might like to see, too!
How to Add More Living Math
Books are just one fun addition that can bring amazing results to math understanding outside of the textbook. If you’re interested in other ideas, check out either the Loving Living Math Masterclass (video training) or Loving Living Math book!