Teaching children how to count is not just good for maths, but serves them well later in life: budgeting, avoid debt, make independent life decisions. It may not be the most interesting subject, but the world needs good mathematicians and scientists, and it’s also good for everyday life – from percentages to doing DIY.
Modern life rids our ability to solve problems. Press a button, and it’s done. If you need to add up, use the app on your phone. Modern thinking is that maths is not needed. But we have a right brain (artistic) and left brain (logical). Studying maths can help to balance things out.
- Counting Creatures is a fun counting book for children. It features flying bats, frolicking fox cubs and jumping Arctic hares, inviting comparisons of habitats, learning baby animal names and there is a fun spidery search-and-find game. Can your child count how many baby leopards are playing in the jungle? Or how many tadpoles are wriggling in the pond?
- 1 to 20 Animals Aplenty takes children from umbers 1 to 20 from dogs with pet frogs (obviously not real life!) to snakes who love to eat cakes, from gorillas looking at mirrors, to llamas wearing pyjamas!
- Absorbent Minds sells abacuses (not for young children, due to small parts). This is a fun way to learn to count (beads on a frame), often used in Montessori schools.
- 100 Dogs is a book to make learning to count fun for young children. Children can spot petted pugs to silly sausage dogs.
- A Quick History of Maths combines maths, history and jokes without boring bits. From Hindu minerals to the invention of zero (via Pythagoras, Pascal and probability) to the digital day. Learn ways to count on your fingers, why there are 60 seconds in a minute and how to count like an Egyptian.