Ocean Treasures: A Counting Book

Posted In: All posts, Math

Our Counting BookBuilding on the fun we had doing “Our Alphabet Book”, we decided to explore the possibility of making our own counting book.

Counting Book 1
We started by re-reading some of our favorite counting books. In My Garden, by Ward Schumaker is a great book for emergent readers because the simple text directly correlates with the images. Our 5 year old felt very successful after “reading” it.
Counting Book 5
Her enthusiasm carried over into Roger Tory Peterson’s Numbers book. Being a bird aficionado, she truly enjoyed counting all of her favorite birds.
Counting Book 2
Our 4 year old loved the visual cues in Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews.
Counting Book 3
Arlene Alda’s 123 was a delight and is filled with beautiful photographs that represent each number. This book was the inspiration for the “shell numbers.”
Choosing Shells
After we finished reading, we took some time to reflect and have a discussion about what type of counting book they would like to make. They came up with the idea of using our beloved shell collection. They had a wonderful time going through our shell jar in search of just the right ones for each shot. We also stumbled upon many shells and rocks that held specific memories for us and shared some fun stories.
Double Checking
This is another great activity for developing the one-to-one correspondence for our 4 year old. She would carefully count each shell 2 to 3 times to make sure that she had displayed the correct amount.
Making 10
I tried to entice the girls into making “shell numbers”, by leaving out this number chart. Our youngest enthusiastically participated throughout the entire process of making the number 10. Beyond that she had no interest…
… So, I found some quiet moments to break away and peacefully create the “shell numbers” myself. They turned out to be my little contribution to the book.
Finished Counting Book
After printing all of the final photos, and putting them in a bare book, we thoroughly enjoyed reading our own counting book.

Materials & Resources
Korean Counting Book – Making Books Blog
Making A Counting Book- Education.com
Let’s Count to Ten – Vintage Sesame Street Video


With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.


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