Math Can Be Amazing!

We’re about one month into the school year, and unfortunately some kids may soon be feeling discouraged about math. One way to counteract the “Math is hard” complaint is to show your kids the playful, creative side of math. Certainly, for the youngest kids, we have great choices of books about counting and shapes. However, we have many wonderful books that present more complicated mathematical skills in an enjoyable way (through art, riddles, games and even poetry).

Greg Tang has made a career out of math education and is the undisputed master of making math fun for kids. Here are just three of our Greg Tang books.

The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang  Math For All Seasons by Greg Tang  Math-terpieces by Greg Tang

Sometimes authors choose to present math concepts in a story format. Here are two picture books that explore counting money and ways to take measurements.

Once Upon a Dime by Nancy Kelly Allen    Measuring Penny vy Loreen Leedy

This next book introduces tangrams, a type of shape puzzle which has been played for hundreds of years. You can read the book and then make your own tangrams out of paper or cardboard. Use the shapes to create your own pictures or go online to see some classic tangram puzzles.

Three Pigs, One Wolf, and Seven Magic Shapes by Grace Maccarone

Geometry terms and concepts are explored in these three medieval tales by Cindy Neuschwander.

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander   Sir Cumference and the First round Table by Cindy Neuschwander   Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander

Don’t stop there! We’re just getting warmed up! Check out these books with games, puzzles, riddles and more fun facts about math.

Arithme-tickle by J. Patrick Lewis   Midnight Math by Peter Ledwon and Marilyn Mets

Go Figure! by Johnny Ball   Marvelous Math edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Another way to help your children develop math skills is to make a point of showing them how often you use math. Both of the following books are from series that discuss how math is actually applied. The first book series is aimed at young kids, but the second series is great for upper elementary and up.

Math in the Kitchen by Ellen Weiss  Building Math by John Perritano

Kids’ biographies are also a great jumping-off point for discussions of math, as well as history and science. Your child may be amazed to learn that world-famous mathematicians may have struggled with schoolwork as a child. All of these choices will be more fun if you read them with your child. Don’t be surprised if you learn something, too! And, isn’t learning together the most fun of all?

Starry Messenger by Peter Sis  The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman  Blockhead: the Life of Finonacci by Joseph D'Agnese