Categories: Activities

The 6 Best Children’s Books about Math

Children’s books about math can be fun and inviting to children, introducing math ideas in a playful, imaginative way.

What Montessori Says about Math

Montessori emphasized that the child is naturally drawn to precision, to organize, to compare, to create order out of disorder, to classify and quantify patterns and relationships. We are born with a drive to calculate and to reason within our environments. With guidance, the capacity to think in this way flourishes and develops over the years.

So, exposing a child to math ideas is helpful to the development of more complex math concepts. Without this exposure, a child’s brain won’t be as ripe for more advanced critical thinking.

“The focus is not on the answer – it’s on how your child gets the answer. This is contrary to the usual way we operate in the adult world, where results are the primary goal to be reached.” ~ Michael Duffy, Math Works

Children’s Books about Math

Montessori believed that early math prepares a child for logical and critical thinking, not for memorizing math facts.  Math in a young child’s life deals with shapes, patterns, and spatial relationships he experiences within his environment. Current brain research tells us that learning patterns begins in utero with light and dark, day and night, tones and patterns of voices of people, music, and objects in the environment, and being still and being active. Children are drawn to order. Thus, routines are critical for a child’s development. Routines give children an entrée into logical thinking.

3 things I have learned in my Montessori math training

  1. Young children are fully capable of learning math
  2. The focus is on the process, not answers.
  3. When young children learn math it isn’t about memorization but instead, it is about training the brain the think mathematically and to problem solve.

I am excited to share many ideas I have learned throughout the week. First, I learned how many wonderful math-related books exist within children’s literature. These books aren’t just about counting but, even better, these books are about problem-solving.

Math For All Seasons: mind-stretching math riddles

The Grapes Of Math

Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar

The Greedy Triangle

How Big Is a Foot?

Math Fables: Lessons That Count

What are your favorite children’s books about math?

Marnie Craycroft

Marnie hails from Maine where she spent summers buried in sand and winters buried in snow. She is the daughter of a nearly four decade veteran of the public school systems. Teaching has always been a part of her life. She founded Carrots Are Orange in 2010.

Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori learning and living website for parents and teachers.

Marnie graduated from Wesleyan University in 1999 with a BA in Economics. She spent nearly a decade working in investment management. In 2006, she earned her MA in business from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999 and currently lives in Boulder with her husband and three sons. She is Montessori trained. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, Huffington Post, and Besides writing, passions include running (usually after her three sons), photography, and outdoor adventures.

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