Learning through stories (part 11) - Maths ideas

There is lots of early maths in children's books.

First numbers: Lots of books are designed to help your child learn the name of numbers, realise that they have order and begin to learn this order. Eventually they will become familiar with numbers and counting.

Shapes and sizes: Point out different sizes and shapes. Point out, for example, how some cups are big and tall and some are small. Try tracing the outline of shapes with your finger as you say their name.

Point out positions: What's behind the flap? Who is next to the bear? Chat about the pictures. Hearing words about the position of something while you look at pictures together will help your baby begin to understand mathematical ideas.

Some of our favourite picture books for teaching early maths:

Mr Archimedes' Bath and Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen investigates weight and capacity. This learning could be transferred to water play. Props, containers, measuring jugs, cups and beakers should be readily available not only to encourage language - describing and comparing quantities but also to reinforce number recognition and scales.

The Shopping Basket by John Burningham supports children not only with one to one correspondence but also in recording number in the form of Steven's pictorial shopping list. 

Lucy Cousins' Hooray for Fish encourages counting and explores vocabularly around size, shape and colour.

Socks by Elizabeth Lindsay and Nick Sharratt encourages children to match socks by size, colour and pattern.