“Numbers–the letters of math.”
I thought I would share some of my favorite stories to do for a number storytime!
My go-to number book for a few years now has been “5 Stinky Socks” by Jim Benton. I think it flew under most people’s radar, but it’s hilarious! I do this one as a flannel, and it’s great to count the socks between pages. The monster also does gross things with his socks, like wash dirty dishes and pulls them out of a garage can. So I bring some props up with me, like a dish from the break room and my trash can, and all the kids give a big “Ewwwww!” sound. It really is the best way to learn.
My new favorite is “Stack the Cats” by Susie Ghahremani. Books that count from 1-10 are usually too boring for my group of kiddos, but this one is great since we can break larger numbers down into groups of 3. And she makes the larger numbers interesting, like “4 cats teeter, 5 cats totter” so instead of just counting again we can do an action, like pretending to fall over. I don’t know if there’s any other picture books that deal with counting piles, so it’s just another great thing about this book. You can find out the cheatie way I make my flannels by going here.
So I always end my storytime with some sort of activity. For numbers, its pretty simple and I have two I usually pick from. The first one is really easy–I have the kids take turn rolling a giant dice. Then we do different actions based on the number it landed on, so if it landed on a 4, we would do either clap four times, or jump four times, or give 4 high fives, etc. Really simple!
The other one is a bit more complicated. I fill up our kitty pool with about an inch of water. Then I release some foam fish that I bought and give kids either sand shovels or large serving spoons I’ve stolen from the break room. The kids then go “fishing” but they have to count how many fish they catch. Beforehand, we have a talk about if we are “inside or outside” and since we are inside we can’t really splash water everywhere. And we also talk about how our pond is “catch and release” so after you catch some fish, you need to throw them back to let other kids catch them.