Baby Hints & Tips

5 Popular Numeracy Picture Books to Share with Your Child

Looking for some new reads with your little one? Or keen to find some numeracy picture books to add some extra learning to story time? Here’s five favourites that tick both boxes. 

Books are amazing! They actually 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.


Early numeracy 

A child’s first years are a time of rapid learning. Research tells us that babies have an innate capacity to understand numbers. As your child’s first teacher, you can play a key role in developing their numeracy skills from an early age.

Developing numeracy skills early gives children a foundation for their learning and development.

Maths includes noticing numbers, shapes, patterns, size, time and measurement. Incorporating maths into everyday experiences is easy and fun. Maths is everywhere – in the playground, at the shops and at home – and in books! 

Here are our top five picture books that promote numeracy in your child. More importantly, they will have fun at the same time. Happy reading! 

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. Find it online here. 

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. Find it online here.

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. Find it online here.

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. Find it online here.

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. Find it online here.

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.

Keep reading! Kids learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud stimulates a child’s imagination and expands their understanding of the world. Reading further helps children develop language and listening skills. It also prepares them to understand the written word. Of course, these books have extra hidden learning being numeracy picture books. But let’s be honest. Your little one couldn’t care one bit. They’re just happy to enjoy a story and a snuggle with mumma. 

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About the Author:

Carly is a new mumma to her daughter Scarlett. She is an Early Childhood Teacher who loves working with the under three year olds and has been blogging since 2008. Carly is busy with her own business, Little Lettie Boxes, during the day when Scarlett is sleeping. She currently finds the time to update her blog Life Will Never Be The Same on weekends and will always post photographs to her instagram account.

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