Hands on Math Books

posted in: learning fun | 2

It is so important that our children understand and can master math. As parents we want our children to succeed in math and we want them to feel confident when working with numbers, shapes, and formulas. Once our children see that math is all around them, then they will see the importance of math. Everywhere we look we see shapes. When we cook we are using measurements. We use math regularly without ever realizing it. When we walk by a swing set and notice that there are four swings we are doing math.


Bedtime Math2 by Laura Overdeck:

I love this book. It is perfect for all ages. This book is divided into 5 chapters. The first chapter is what’s in you? The second chapter is what’s on you? The third chapter is personal favorites! The fourth chapter is personal habits! And the fifth chapter is personal bests! This book uses silly, fun, and friendly pictures to get kids wondering what this page is all about. Each page is only one paragraph long which is perfect for little ones because they don’t  have time to lose interest. This book also has questions for different age groups. The wee ones questions are for little ones and the ask super easy questions like…” Which is longer, your hand or your whole arm?” The little kids questions are for children who understand basic  adding and subtracting. Example: “If you actually had 5 eyes instead of 2, how many more eyes would you have than you do now?” The big kids questions are more complicated…” If you stretch your arms to the side, that width is about the same as your height. If your arms span 41 inches and you are just 2 inches taller than that, how tall are you?” The bonus question usually has a multiplication or  a division word problem. Example: “If you are 7 times as tall  as your 7 inch-tall head, how tall are you?” In the picture below we learned that even though our bodies are all created differently, there are some parts of our bodies that relate to each other in certain ways. Did you know that your foot and your wrist to elbow are almost the same size?  Measure it and I’m sure you will be surprised.




Arithme-Tickle by J. Patrick Lewis:

This book offers 18  different riddles. It is a great way to get children thinking and working on word problems. In this riddle your child will know the number of teeth that are in a regular mouth. This is a great way to learn new things and to see if your child knows how many states began with South.



From Head to Toe, Body Math (I Love Math) by Time Life Book :

This book was our favorite. There are so many hands on math activities that you can do with your child without spending any money on them. It is also easy to follow. From this book we did the activity called… Measure for Measure. On the bottom of each activity page there is description of what the math focus is for each math activity. For the one we did it was….” Length(Height)..by making paper models of their own bodies, children learn the process of measuring string while comparing the lengths of different parts of the human body.



What you need is a ruler, large paper, tape, string, scissors, paper, and pencil. The above picture are the parts that need to be measured. Use string to measure different parts. Then trace that measurement on paper. Cut the paper strips. Tape them on the wall and use a ruler and record the measurements down on a piece of paper. Then assemble the papers to where the should belong. Ask your child which strips are about the same length. As well as, how many wrist strips make up a waist strip?

Fingers and Frames:

We also did the fingers and frames activity. For this math focus our little one learned how to count. Draw a film. First only a box with five. Use your fingers and buttons. Place your fingers down and tell your child to put that many buttons down on the frame. Then add another set of five. Teach your child to count to ten.


Right In Your Own Backyard, Nature Math (I Love Math) by Time Life Book :


This is a great book for children to see how math can also be found in nature. We learned about Patterns in Nature and that a pattern is a design that repeats over and over.


We learned about spotting hexagons in nature. Hexagons all fit together with no space between them. Our daughter traced a hexagon onto a white board. Here your child can learn that a hexagon has 5 sides. After a picture has been drawn, children can count all the sides on the page. A fly’s eye, beehive, and a crystal are all shaped like hexagons.


Visit Devils Postpile National Monument in California, near Mammoth Lakes. You will be in awe of these giant 60 foot basalt columns. On top you will see the natural hexagon structure. For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/depo or call 760-934-2289



In nature we can spot circles. Larger ones can be found on the outside, while smaller ones can be found on the inside of the circle. These circle do not connect with each other. Each of these circles also have the same center. We can find this pattern in our eyes, trees, and butterfly wings. To get started get different round bowls and objects and traced them onto a white board.



Visit Calaveras Big trees in California to see this patterns on wood stumps. You can tell how old a tree is by counting the growth rings of a tree. Visit www.parks.CA.gov/?page_id=551.

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2 Responses

  1. I LOVE your list of books for math!! We use many different manipulatives for our math and different hands on books. I am always on the look out for new hands on ways to teach math, and books are such a great way to do that. We will have to look into getting a couple of them for our homeschool too. I also REALLY love your art wall in the background of one of your pictures what a great idea for keeping kids art projects!!

  2. irinavakulchik4@gmail.com

    We love hands on learning books. 🙂 Thanks, hubby made the art wall for us. I love keeping art in one area and not over every wall. My kiddos make beautiful art pieces everyday. The art wall helps them show off their best pieces. Thanks for stopping by love. 🙂

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