Books are amazing; they can contain different ideas other than literacy-based themes within them. Numeracy, which is not just counting but rather everything mathematical can be found within a number of different picture books for your little ones.
Alexander’s Outing by Pamela Allen
This is a perfect picture book for your little ones (aged two and up!) It is a great exploration of volume and capacity, as well as explores the idea of the walk, using words such as ‘through. It prompts for problem solving when everyone is trying to reach Alexander with an array of items.
Hands-on Experiment (18 months – 3 years old): Using a pasta plastic container (or similar), a rubber duck and some water; measure how many cups it takes to rescue Alexander. Guess how many you think it will take before and give your child the opportunity to fill the container with water.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This book has so many numeracy themes within it; there is counting, the days of the week and also the exploration of time passing. This book is perfect for all ages, even babies.
Hands-on Experiment (2-4 year olds): Have your child match the number of fruit/food to the day of the week (there are many printable resources to be found online!)
Where Is The Green Sheep? By Mem Fox & Judy Horacek
Another perfect picture book for all ages, when your little one is beginning to explore and build their ideas about mathematics it is great for building ideas about colours and opposites and positional language.
Hands-on Experiment (2-6 year olds): Colour mixing from the primary colours, can your child make the colours of the sheep in the book; from there for the older children you could then begin to explore colour blending.
The Waterhole by Graeme Base
Base perfectly explores not only mathematical themes within this book, but social themes too. Mathematically it adds an animal each time as it examines the waterhole; each time the number goes up the volume of the water remaining gets smaller.
Hands-on Experiment (4-5 year olds): Using the book as a base, you could explore what might happen if only one or two animals always drank from the waterhole.
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
This books has amazing illustrations which allow your child to visually see the size of the animal being described or part of the animal. It allows for the mathematical concepts of size, measurement and comparisons to be discussed and explored.
Hands-on Experiment (all ages): Using the book as a basis and large sheets of butcher’s paper, you could draw to-scale models of animals within the book and then stick them to the wall and have your child (and family) stand against to view the size and compare.