50 Best Counting Books for Kids

Counting is an important beginning math skill and kids need a lot of practice especially when they’re first starting out. Here is a book list of our 50 favorite counting books for kids.

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counting books
50 of the best counting books for kids!

Counting Books for Toddler & PreK

Lamaze Counting book gift set by Lamaze

A great gift, this set comes with stackable cups and a plush book on a key ring. This book is designed for babies 6 months and up.  If you already have the stacking cups just get the book.

Goodnight Numbers by Danica McKellar

If you’re looking to buy just one counting book then you’ve found it! The most comprehensive beginning counting book I’ve seen! It counts in 5 different languages, has the number symbol, number word, a super cute poem AND shows that number in a ten frame.  I recommend this as a board book so it lasts.

Doggies by Sandra Boynton

Super fun interactive counting book. As the title suggests Boynton uses a childhood favorite animal as the star of the show.  Kids count and bark throughout the book.  Learning to count should always be this fun!

Horns to Toes by Sandra Boynton 

Sandra Boynton is very simply put an amazing author. She brings humor and fun to important learning concepts like counting and number sense. This is great for multi-age families because it introduces counting in multiples (you don’t have to count the horns by twos or the toes by five but you can) but is in a young reader friendly board book format.

1,2,3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle

Eric Carle is another timeless childhood favorite author.  Just pictures and numbers in this super simple counting book! Is is a fun first number book for kids to count along with.

10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle

Less of a counting book and more of a story about the 10 little ducks. Its super cute story and incase you are looking for a number sheet there is one counting page 1-10 in the beginning.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Great counting book and the illustrations are inspiring! Do an art projects or throw a Hungry Caterpillar themed birthday party!

Numbers, Colors, Shapes by Roger Priddy

Roger Priddy is one of my all time favorite authors! I included this book even though it includes colors and shapes because it is a valuable resource for early math. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Bright Baby Bilingual Touch and Feel Numbers by Roger Priddy

Awesome book for curious youngsters.  How can you go wrong with bilingual baby animals & numbers? NOTE: this book is not entirely a touch and feel book.

 First 100 Numbers Board Book by Roger Priddy

My son LOVES interactive books so much that since he was 8 months old he would pick up a book and “read” to himself as he interacts with the pages.

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

Such a cute story! This book doubles as a great bedtime story (if you already give kisses at bedtime and need to learn how to count, here’s the perfect book for you). I like it because it counts down from ten, which is not common in books but an important skill for kids.

My 1st Numbers : Lets get Counting by DK

Reference books are a great addition to your home library because you can use them for multiple ages. This book is great for toddlers (vocabulary development) through the early elementary years. You can circle back when they’re in kindergarten and first grade for some extra counting practice.

Little Owl’s 1,2,3

We LOVE the Little Owl series!!!! This was one of his first counting book and now, even though he can count to 100 he still loves it.

Good Night Moon 1,2,3

Alternating in black and white and color pages this is the numbers version of the children’s bedtime classic Goodnight Moon.

1,2, Buckle my Shoe by Salina Yoon

Board book version of the classic counting song.

The Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry

Better suited for four years and up this is a great find and count book.

 Construction Countdown by K.C. Olson

As the title suggest this book counts down from 10. This book boasts beautiful (yet simple) illustrations and would be well paired with a construction sensory bin!

Thomas 1,2,3 Book by Reverand W. Awdry

Everyone’s favorite steam locomotive has a counting book.  I’m sure the title sells itself but this super cool  book also counts to 20 AND there is an ABC book as part of the series.

Hand, Hand, Finger Thumb by Al Perkins

If you like rhythm, music and humor this is the best counting book for you! Super entertaining book even for adults. Note: the board book is an abridged version.

Counting Books for Kindergarten & First Grade

Bathtime Mathtime by Danica McKellar

Kindergarten is the age group that would best grasp this book naturally but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to read it to your toddler. This book explores counting on and number sentences (1+1=2) and introduces the concept that math is everywhere even in the bathtub!

1,2,3, Count with Me trace and flip by Georgie Birlatt

Better suited as a book to learn how to write the numbers AFTER your child can count AND match 1:1. The pages state a number and the illustrations do not match so you cannot count them, accurately.  This book would be a great read when you’re ready to learn how to write numbers and follow it up with a sand or salt tray to practice writing them.

Chicka Chicka 1,2,3

This is the numbers version of the popular ABC book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  This book is best suited for kindergartens because it counts to 100. It won’t hurt to read it to preschoolers just keep in mind most preschoolers do not have the stamina for that but then again there are some preschoolers and toddlers love this book as well.  Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t hold their attention the first few times, counting to 100 requires more stamina than most preschoolers have.

Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Ellen Stoll Walsh is another excellent author. This one is a staple for teaching counting on and beginning subtraction concepts (counting down from ten). The story is about a hungry snake that finds a glass jar and then goes hunting for dinner. He catches the sleeping nice mice  and collects them in a jar (don’t worry they get away).   This author also has an excellent book that teaches about primary and secondary colors called Mouse Paint.

10 Black Dots by Donald Crews

Limitless learning opportunities is how I describe this book! Kids can learn how to count, draw and subitize (instantly recognize groups of numbers). I highly recommend this book as part of your home collection.

Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert

Children are attracted to the bright colors and playful rhyme. This is a fun read and find book but it does not show the numbers (you can still count one eye, two fins, etc.) just know that is not displayed in the book.

Counting on Fall by Lizann Flatt and Ashley Barron

Counting fall items in nature is something we do in real life! This book is best suited for first or second graders.  If you wanted to introduce nature walks to your preschooler this would be a great read aloud, just know that the numbers in this book get pretty high and there is a lot of math vocabulary (more, less, etc.)  you don’t have to try to count all of the pages.

How do Dinosaurs Count to 10 by Jane Yolen

Perfect counting book for your future paleontologist!

 Olivia Counts by Ian Falconer

A compilation of other Olivia books this one does not follow Olivia’s usual format… it is just for counting.

Uno’s Garden by Graeme Base

Base seamlessly blends imaginary animals, caring for the environment & Math concepts into this fun childhood favorite!

How Many Legs by Kes Gray

Silly rhyming and counting book.

I Spy Numbers by Jean Marzollo

Who doesn’t love the I Spy series? This one is strictly numbers!

Counting to 10 by Daniel Nunn

Simple but fun rhyming and counting book that goes from 1 to 10.

10 Apples up on Top by Theo Lesig (Dr. Suess)

A lion, a tiger and a dog walk into a bar… just kidding. These animals are friends who start a balance and count game. This fun rhyming story gives kids repetitive practice counting to 10 and could prompt a fun art project where kids draw animals balancing _____ (they choose a number they can count to) up on top. NOTE: the board book is an abridged version so I have recommended the hardcover or paperback for this book.

15 Animals by Sandra Boynton

Boynton is at it again with another fun way to learn to count… this time to the number 15!

10 Minutes til Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann

A book of few words and endless possibilities. This story is one that can take you less than 10 minutes to read or way longer if you want to pay close attention to the detail in the illustrations. You can count to 10 on each page if you focus on the Hamsters. Play I Spy looking for the hamsters 1-10, and any other patterns you may notice.

 Zero by  Kathryn Otoshi

Incredible book that touches on seemingly unrelated concepts as counting, self acceptance and diversity, a must read!

Touch, Think, Learn by Xavier Deneux

Well written concept and design. Children trace, count and imagine the numerals as shapes like the 5 dots they counted into a horse or the 2 dots they counted as a slug.  This book is perfect for those hands one learners and helps build mental math strategies, subitze, count and write.

Counting Books for Second Grade

Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett

An interactive counting book that, unlike the title suggests does not have monkeys to count. This is a fun and silly way to get kids engaged in counting and reading, but due to some of the content is better suited for older children or multi aged households.

The Coin Counting Book by Rozanne Laczak Williams

This book is jam-packed with math concepts, money, addition, equivalency. It is so full of information I would not use it as an introduction to money but a supplementary support.

Teaching money hint:

If you’re just starting money use the money rap. Chart it and tape the coins next to the value for extra support)

“well, a penny’s worth 1

and a nickle’s worth 5

a dime is worth 10 

and a quarter 25″ 

Annos Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno

Amazing how a book with no words can inspire so much. There are 12 pages each with a numerical theme (ex: 1st page has one of everything, second has two and so on). The more you read it the more patterns you discover.

One Duck Stuck by Phyho Rort

Excellent counting read aloud with beautiful illustrations, and funny animal sounds that kids love.

Each Orange Had 8 Slices by  Paul Gigarti Jr.

This is a more advanced counting book as it incorporates the opportunity to count in groups. This is called skip counting and is an introduction to and a necessary skill for multiplication.

Bedtime Math: a fun excuse to stay up late by Laura Overdeck and Jim Paillot

Practice makes perfect and this book is a great illustration of how math is everywhere! Full of super fun math activity suggestions with three different levels of questions to ask your children (tots, early elementary and late elementary/early middle school). If you stick to the on-level questions then your kids will absolutely love this book AND beg you to do math!

1,2,3s of D & D by Ivan Van Norman

For all of the D&D families out here here’s an updated version of the ABC’s of D&D. This book goes 1-10 and has counting opportunities on each page.

10 Magic Butterflies by Danica McKellar

Cute story about flowers that want to fly so they ask a fairy as she flies on by.

Two is for Twins by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

It’s pretty obvious that this book is best suited for twins or siblings of twins but everyone else can appreciate reading about things that come in pairs and how twins experience the world around them. I know I always wanted an identical twin growing up!

Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani

How do cat lovers learn to count? They read Stack the Cats! A super cute story that teaches math in the context that all cat lovers can appreciate.

Three Little Mermaids

Mermaids, moving parts and counting this book is perfect for kids who need a more interactive read as they learn.

One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J Pinczes

SKIP COUNTING PERFECTION this book teaches skip counting and introduces division when the ants begin to split into groups. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book!

Twenty big Trucks in the middle of the street by Mark Lee

Numbers to 20 and trucks, I’m sold! The story is simple, the illustrations are beautiful and very detailed you could re-read this book and have something new to talk about each time (besides counting) just using the illustrations!

How Many Bugs in a Box  by David A. Carter

Pop-up books are some of my all time favorites! This spectacular book never gets old.

Counting with kids is NOT important!

Counting and other Number Sense Activities for PreK-1

 

 

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