Clever Counting Books: Teaching Kids those Numbers

Preparing for this post, I conducted major, in-depth research. Or rather,  my husband and I briefly discussed how George learned to count. I mean, we were there, right? Surely we took part in the educational process? I dunno.

do remember singing the alphabet song a thousand times, so I have an inkling about where he picked up that knowledge. We also own a bazillion alphabet books, because George picked up the pattern around 18 months and the ABC frenzy didn’t let up for a good 12 months.

Numbers, though? I remember my mom introduced him to hopscotch fairly early. Then my husband came up with this clever invention:

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My husband’s perpetual motion device for toddlers. The bouncing never stops!

I spent many hours writing numbers on our driveway in chalk. Then I’d have to draw the appropriate number of dots to correspond to each number. When we dive in, we dive in hard, folks.

We’ve discovered a few fun counting books over the years, so I thought I’d share. Some are a bit annoying, as they force the reader to make sound effects. Of course, these are the ones the toddler returns to over and over and…


susan boyntonHippos Go Berserk! by Sandra Boynton: Oh, Sandra. I don’t know how you do it. I love each and every clever, little board book your come up with. You seem to make a lot of my lists. I enjoyed this one thoroughly, but Doggies taught George to count. It made me bark like 10 different dogs (and one cat!), so I don’t feel like it deserves its own spot on my list.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin: Have you met Pete the Cat yet? Is that a silly question, as Pete’s merchandising fills Booksamillion shelves and Amazon Prime slots? I’m a fan. Pete is chill and slick-cool. I think the creators (James and Kimberly Dean) are Christians, which I find pretty cool. In this book, Pete loses buttons off his favorite shirt. But does he cry? Goodness no! It teaches a little subtraction, a little counting, and a sprinkling of go-with-the-flowness (which, let’s be honest, small children desperately need).

pete the catPete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James Dean: Someone is stealing the cupcakes Pete made for the upcoming cupcake party! But who? Intriguing mystery, counting, and forgiveness. What else could you ask for? Well, I wouldn’t mind attending a cupcake party…

Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli: I’ve sung the praises of Alphablock in my ode to ABC books, so here is its numeric companion. This book absolutely taught George how to count from 20 to 100. I still don’t know that he understands there are numbers higher than 100. I’m pretty sure he believes 100 is the biggest number ever. Thankfully, this book does a cute job portraying 10 numbers at a time. Seeds change to flowers. Corn kernels morph into popped popcorn. Caterpillars transform into butterflies. I didn’t mind reading this one again and again.

1 to 20, Animals Aplenty by Katie Viggers: This one teaches numbers 1-20, but with fun rhymes and unexpected, delightful illustrations. Highly recommended.


 Any counting books worth sharing? We’re moving into the early math stage, so I’m open to any and all suggestions!

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