Counting Books & Activities for Toddlers: Teach your Child How to Count

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Suggested Counting Books

Ten Tiny Tickles by Karen Katz

This adorable counting book starts with a mommy giving her baby “one tiny tickle on a lovely, sleepy head” and continues counting tickles on her hands, arms, nose and other body parts as she gets ready for the day. Not only does this book count the numbers to ten but it is also a great way to teach your toddler the names of various body parts. A great book to go with this one is Karen Katz’s Counting Kisses which counts kisses backwards from ten down to one as baby gets ready for bed.

Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood

This fun rhyming book tells the story of ten little fish going off into the sea. It counts backwards as each one leaves the group. Don’t worry though the last little fish meets its mate and soon there are ten more little fish to love. Toddlers will love looking at the bright, colorful fish and will ask for this story over and over again.

Five Little Ducks by Raffi

This book based on the Raffi song by the same name will surely delight any toddler. It’s simple rhyming text counts backwards from five as the little ducks go out and each time one less comes back. Your toddler will love to “Quack, quack, quack” along with Mother Duck as she calls her babies and you’ll both be singing this song long after you’ve finished reading the book.

Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward

If your toddler loves creepy crawlers, he’s sure to love this retelling of the classic song “Over in the Meadow.” This counting book offers lots to do from singing the song, to finding the hidden number on each page and counting the insects in the illustrations. The illustrations are bold and bright and if you pay attention they give you a hint as which insect will be next. A similar choice is Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes.

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang

This simple bedtime book counts back from ten as a father helps his little girl get ready for bed. From “Ten small toes all washed and warm” down to “One big girl all ready for bed” the simple rhyming text and colorful illustrations will make this a favorite bedtime story.

Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert

This counting book counts fish you would see if you were a fish in the ocean. It has bright simple pictures with cutouts for the eyes that reveal the colors on the next page. It uses some creative adjectives to describe the different fish which is great for your toddler’s growing vocabulary.

To find these and more toddler books for counting, click here.

Counting Activities

There are many ways to teach counting to toddlers and they are usually always eager to learn their numbers. Try some of these fun activities with your children:

  • As you read the counting books above, take the time to go back and really look at the objects in the pictures, pointing to each object as you count.

  • Give your toddler lots of experience manipulating objects to count. Toddlers can often say their numbers form one to ten but have a hard time counting objects. Use buttons, cheerios, blocks or any other small object to count. Count toys as you clean them up and put them in the toy box. Count the people sitting around the table for dinner.

  • The song “Five Little Ducks” is lots of fun to act out in the bath with rubber ducks, taking away a duck for each verse.

  • Let your toddler help you count your produce in the grocery store as you shop or when you get home. She can count how many apples or banana you have as you put them in bags at the store or when you are putting the groceries away at home.

  • Sing songs and poems with a counting theme. Try “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” or “Ten in the Bed.”

This post is part of the series: Great Books for Toddlers

This is a series about choosing books to read to your toddler. This series will focus on books that are high quality, age appropriate and high interest to toddlers. The four article will discuss books about letters, counting, shapes and colors, and animals.

  1. Giving Your Toddler a Headstart With Alphabet Books
  2. Great Counting Books for Toddlers
  3. Great Books For Toddlers About Shapes and Colors
  4. Great Toddler Learning Books About Animals