Preschool Math Curriculum
It is critical to get little preschool people started down the math road successfully! I don’t know about you, but I really dislike doing things I’m horrible at. How many people do you know that hate math for no other reason than that they got off to a bad start?
You can help your own child to have a better experience with math!
One way you can pique your child’s interest in math is to use fun picture books to help introduce and explain mathematical concepts by bringing them to life. Math story books are a fantastic way to help solidify math skills while building math confidence in your child.
While children may not be drawn to math textbooks, they are almost certainly drawn to great stories (and snuggling on mom’s lap). When you combine literature and math, your kiddos will learn that numbers and math concepts are fun and interesting!
This is exactly why my entire preschool math curriculum is comprised of math picture books, daily interactions, and games we make up using household items. There is no need for a formal preschool math curriculum.
All your preschooler needs to know about math before entering kindergarten is how to count by rote to at least ten, as well as having a basic understanding that numbers represent a quantity of something.
Preschoolers absolutely thrive on repetition. When read the same book over and over again, preschoolers construct new understandings of their world. They repeat and practice new skills, building proficiency and confidence in their new abilities.
Honestly, if you just chose two or three books from each category below and rotated through them, reading to your preschooler each day, he would enter kindergarten (homeschool kindergarten in the case of my own kids) thoroughly and completely prepared.
What a fun, easy and inexpensive way to prepare your preschoolers for further learning!
(Please note that this post includes affiliate links. They’re boring, but you can read my full disclosures here if you want.)
Preschool Math Story Books That Teach Shapes and Colors
Did you know that colors and shapes are taught as part of preschool math curriculum? And that they are usually taught prior to number and letter recognition?
The reason is that color and shape are two very noticeable attributes of the world around us. When your preschooler learns to discern the similarities and differences between colors and shapes, he is using the same skills he will need later on to recognize the differences between letters and numbers.
Colors and shapes are simpler and easier to recognize and memorize than numbers and letters, which is why they are learned first. You can probably find most of the books below at your local library, but it’s best to have a few of your preschoolers favorites on your own shelves for him to feel ownership over.
- Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh
- Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong
- My Very First Book of Shapes by Eric Carle
- Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald
- Walter’s Wonderful Web: A First Book About Shapes by Tim Hopgood
- Shapes by John J. Reiss
- Which One Doesn’t Belong? A Shape Book by Christopher Danielson
- Circle, Triangle, Elephant: A Book of Shapes and Surprises by Kenji Oikawa
- Brown Rabbit’s Shapes by Alan Baker
- Triangle by Mac Barnett
- Square by Mac Barnett
- Circle by Mac Barnett
- My Shapes Book by Maria Yiangou
- The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
- Squares by Sarah Schuette
- Circles by Sarah Schuette
- SkippyJon Jones Shape Up by Judy Schachner
- Circus Shapes by Stuart J. Murphy
- Red Car Green Car by Roger Priddy
- Colors by John J. Reiss
Preschool Math Story Books That Teach Counting And Number Recognition
There are probably thousands of counting books for preschoolers out there, but these are some my own little people have found the most amusing. I freely admit that this list is a little heavy on counting books.
I just can’t help myself — there are so many entertaining preschool math counting books! Each of the books on this list is either fabulously inventive or uproariously funny or adorably illustrated. I couldn’t leave a single one of them off!
You can probably find most of these at your local library, but I suggest that you purchase a couple of these for your home library. That way your child has constant access — preschoolers love repetition and learn a great deal from it.
- One, Two, Three! by Sandra Boynton
- Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton
- How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
- Chicka, Chicka, 123 by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson
- The Deep, Deep Puddle by Mary Jessie Parker
- One Chicky, Two Chicky: A Counting Book by Cheryl Casey
- Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani
- My Very First Book of Numbers by Eric Carle
- Five Little Ducks by Raffi
- One Hungry Monster: A Counting Book in Rhyme by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe
- Counting Cows by Michelle Medlock Adams
- The Water Hole by Grahme Base
- Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
- Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra
- Over in the Meadow by Jill McDonald
- Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins
- Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming
- Is That Wise, Pig? by Jan Thomas
- Elmer’s First Counting Book by David McKee
- One Duck Stuck: A Mucky Duck Counting Book by Phyllis Root
- 1 to 20, Animals Aplenty by Katie Viggers
- 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo: A Counting Book by Eric Carle
- How Many Snails? A Counting Book by Paul Giganti, Jr.
- 20 Hungry Piggies: A Number Book by Trudy Harris
- Eight Silly Monkeys by Steve Haskamp
- Bears at the Beach: Counting 10 to 20 by Niki Yektai
- Let’s Count it Out, Jesse Bear by Nancy White Carlstrom
- Ten Apples Up on Top by Theo LeSieg
Picture Books That Teach Patterns and Position for Preschool Math
An understanding of spatial relationships (before, after, between, over, under, through) is an important part of general math understanding. Your preschooler needs to understand these words before trying to understand sequence. The following books can help your preschoolers to understand these critical math concepts.
- Pattern Bugs by Trudy Harris
- Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris
- A-B-A-B-A a Book of Pattern Play by Brian P. Cleary
- Patterns by Henry Arthur Pluckrose
- Lots and Lots of Zebra Stripes by Stephen Swinburne
- Around the House the Fox Chased the Mouse: A Prepositional Tale by Rick Walton
- The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Iza Trapani
- Teddy Bear Patterns by Barbara McGrath
- Yellow Ball by Molly Bang
- Jack and His Ball by Larry Olsen
- The Best Bug Parade by Stuart Murphy
- Over, Under and Through by Tana Hoban
- Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins
- The Berenstein Bears Inside Outside Upside Down by Stan and Jan Berenstein
Preschool Math Picture Books That Teach Comparing And Sorting
Preschoolers sort and classify objects in their environment as a way to help them construct an understanding of it. They are simply identifying similarities and differences by ordering, comparing and contrasting. It’s one of the first mathematical processes preschoolers use.
- Sorting by Henry Arthur Pluckrose
- Sort it Out! by Barbara Mariconda
- A House for Birdie by Stuart J. Murphy
- The Greatest Gymnast of All by Stuart J. Murphy
- 3 Little Firefighters by Stuart J. Murphy
- Sorting at the Market by Tracy Steffora
- Equal Scnmequal by Virginia Kroll
- The Button Box by Margaret Reid
- A Pair of Socks by Stuart J. Murphy
My youngest is five-years-old! I never cried about leaving the diaper stage behind. And I rejoiced when I dropped off our crib, bouncer, baby bathtub and other baby paraphernalia at Goodwill (because I got an entire closet back).
But I did cry when my youngest and I finished up her preschool math and phonics last year. I’ve taught it eight times, to each of my kiddos, and I’d still love to teach it again!
There is nothing quite as fulfilling as watching preschoolers make educational discoveries. It is seriously fun!
The very best advice I can give you, if you are embarking on a fun preschool journey of your own, is to teach exclusively through books and games. And when you read to your lovely little person, wrap him tight in your arms and hold him on your lap!
All of this will only take you a few minutes a day, but your preschooler will know, right from the start, that learning is wonderful, fun, warm and cozy. Learning through games and books is the secret to giving your preschooler a lifelong love of learning. No gift is more precious!
Have I missed any of your favorites? How do you like to teach preschool math? Please leave questions or comments below!