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Add Up STEAM Skills with Bedtime Math:

Tips for incorporating math into your literacy routine



If reading to your kids before they go to sleep at night is part of your family routine, congratulations! You are doing something wonderful for their little brains as well as establishing a deep family bond that your kids will fondly remember their entire lives.

I’d like to suggest a small but powerful change in your routine: for every five or six “regular” bedtime stories, consider reading one “math” story. The concept is something called Bedtime Math (www.bedtimemath.org), and it’s an easy way to support your children’s book literacy while strengthening their number literacy.

There are several “Bedtime Math” books available in the library:

  • Bedtime Math
  • Bedtime Math 2: This Time It’s Personal
  • Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out
  • How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane?

But you can also easily turn any “regular” book into a math lesson by counting and talking about other math concepts such as speed, distance, measurement, and size.How? A librarian’s best friend: the catalog!

This is where the keyword and subject search part of the library catalog is your friend. Simply go to the search box in the upper right hand of the library website (located on every page) and type the concept name plus “easy picture” (for easier picture books) or “juvenile literature” (for nonfiction fact books). So if you search “Size - Easy Picture”, you’ll find three of my favorite picture books to read to children:

  • You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang
  • I Don’t Want To Be Big by Dev Petty
  • Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit by Catherine Rayner

Not only are these great stories with colorful illustrations, they introduce the concept of size and can lead to interesting math discussions with your child.

Try it with “Measurement - easy picture” or “Counting - juvenile literature” and see what wonderful math books for kids come up. You won’t be disappointed!

Have fun on your math journey!


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