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Friday, May 15, 2020

1, 2, 3, Animals!

Everytime I take one of my kids for a well child visit with their pediatrician I get asked about reading with my kids at home.  Even since they were small babies this question has been asked.  I love this question because it reminds parents to read to their kids but I wish they asked another important question as well......

What are you doing to work on your baby/toddlers early math development?

How often do you practice counting objects with your child?

Are you working on subitizing with your child?  Do you know what subitizing is?

I might have given the pediatrician a lecture or two about the importance of asking math type of questions during a well child visit a time or two but I am not sure it did much good!

I think all parents know they SHOULD be reading to their kids but I am not sure enough parents know about early math opportunities for their babies and toddlers.  There are many counting books out there that they might be reading but they tend to focus on just one skill which is rote counting.  Rote counting is important don't get me wrong but it is probably the least exciting of the early math skills!

I have been on the hunt for the PERFECT counting book to give to folks at baby showers because books are one of my favorite baby shower gifts.  Recently a math blogger friend, Bethany Lake wrote a counting book that sets itself apart from other counting books.

Looks kind of like other counting books on the cover with its cute graphics and easy to read font but when you look inside you see something different.

This is a counting book with layers.  There is the story and the counting (both forward and backward to 10) but then there is more.  Bethany starts the book with a full page letter to parents.  In that letter she outlines some important early math skills in easy to read parent friendly language.  It gives parents ideas about what they can do while reading the book (and after!) to increase their kids interest, engagement and how they interact with the math in the text and pictures. 

The story itself is super cute (written in rhymes which I always love!), and provides the opportunity to count forward and backward within 10.  Many early counting books miss the opportunity to practice backward counting but I think it should be there from day 1!

The book ends with other visual models kids can use for subitizing.  Showing parents all these in one book is brilliant!  They will see them there and by seeing them over and over again in this book, they will start seeing them and pointing them out to their child in everyday life as well. 

1, 2, 3, Animals! is a great counting book for toddlers and would make an excellent baby shower gift!