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March 21, 2023

Montessori Friendly Counting Books for Children

Growing up I used to think math was really boring. It's all problems, and no real life fun. And I think that was a product of having math only be something that was ever used, seen, or talked about in my home in the context of "did you finish your math homework?" But, why should other subjects get all the fun? Math is real life, math is interesting, and math can be fun. 

In an effort to help my children fall in love with math and numbers, I've used some Montessori friendly math books here at home. Teddy, at 3.5, is suddenly super into counting and numbers. As we have become more intentional about introducing numbers, math books are once again having a moment here. So, I thought I would share a few of our favorite books about numbers. 

A collage of Montessori Friendly counting books for toddlers and preschoolers.

Counting Books for Older Toddlers and Younger Preschoolers

I do not personally introduce counting books to my babies and younger toddlers. I know there are lots out there on the market, but I find them to be too abstract to really spark an interest. Instead, I wait until my toddlers have a better understanding of quantity to bring in books.

For this age, I want books that focus more on the counting than the number symbols. We want to keep quantity as concrete as possible. I also want the content to be based on reality, beautiful, and engaging. These are a few of our favorites:

I think of this selection my favorite is My First 123. It's so classically Shirley Hughes with familiar characters and situations that toddlers and preschoolers can really relate to. 

Older Preschool and Kindergarten Counting Books

At this age, most children are starting to understand that quantity and they number symbols are related and how counting works. Therefore, I can take it a little more abstract and sometimes silly direction.  This is when I would introduce books that focus on the symbols a bit more. There are so many choices that could have been included, but these are some of my favorites: 

At this age I Know Numbers is my favorite book because it moves beyond just counting. It talks about the importance of numbers in real life settings but in an accessible way - numbers are everywhere and we use them all the time, and that's really cool. 

A collage of Montessori friendly counting books for kindergarten and elementary aged children. Books that focus on making math concrete and fun


The elementary years are the years to go BIG and to go deep! Make it silly, make it relevant to their lives and spark some of their powerful imagination. These books are perfect for supporting the fifth great lesson on the history of Mathematics, or to be used by themselves. Here are some of our favorites: 

Of these, the History of Counting is my favorite. It's just such a great way to really give context to math work and how much human development needed to happen to get us to the modern numbers!

Counting books are a great way to spark imagination and fun around maths. Here are 16 Montessori friendly counting books for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary children. From simple counting to the history of numbers, these books help make math fun and real.

Do you have any other Montessori friendly counting books that you would add to this list?


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