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Cat Count: Early Math Activities

Cat Count: Early Math Activities

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Develop and explore early learning math activities with your child using the picture book Cat Count.

Book: Cat Count  by Betsy Lewin

Learning Focus: Addition, One to One Correspondence

Learning Bonus: Word Choice

Target Audience: Pre-K-2nd Grade


The cats in Betsy Lewin’s Cat Count are no ordinary house-cats. Not only are these fancy felines full of whimsy and mischief – they’re also helping young children learn basic math skills! Your child will laugh at the antics of the silly cats and enjoy the illustrations, all while learning more about numbers, counting, and basic addition.

Cat Count Math Activities

During the Story:

*ALWAYS read the story one time through strictly for enjoyment purposes. Relish the illustrations together. Celebrate the story! Reading isn’t just educational – it’s FUN!

As you flip through the pages with your child, point out the numbers in the top right corner. Help your child become aware of the numbers, and the counting element of the story. Draw attention to the printed number words as you read.

Young Learners:

  1. Have your child try to identify the numbers in the top right corner.
  2. Stop and have your child count the cats on each page. As they are counting, they are learning that each cat represents one number.
  3. After the first few pages, see if your child can predict what number will come next.

Cat Count:

Lay the  Cat Count Number Word Cards out in order. Have your child put the correct number of Cat Count Counting Pieces under each number word. For younger learners, begin with just a few cards. Fifteen cards will be overwhelming to a younger learner.

Older Learners:

Children who are in kindergarten -second grade may do the above activities as a review, and the following activities to extend their learning and deepen their mathematical understandings.

  1. Use the Cat Count Counting Pieces to help your child do some visual addition. As you read the story together, place cat counters on the floor or table in front of you. As you continue the story, begin to add up the total number of cats.
  2. Create number sentences as you read.( 1+2+3+4+5=15.) Use the cat Cat Count Counting Pieces to help your child solve the number sentences.

Extended Learning Opportunities:

Read the Number Words:

Use the  Cat Count Number Word Cards to help your child learn to read and recognize the number words. Mix up the cards. Have your child attempt to put them back in the correct order.

If your child needs additional support or help, show them how to use the text to help them read the words. Flip through the book, and point out the printed number words. Ask your child how they could use the book to read the words. (Ie- Match the printed word with the numeral

Learn New Vocabulary:

Learn new vocabulary words! Cat Count has many words that children may not know. Re-read the story with your child. Each time you read a word that he/she does not know, write it down. After you are finished reading the story, look up the new words. Not only will your child learn new words, he/she will also learn how to look up definitions! (Hint- use a standard dictionary as well as the computer to help your child learn a variety of tools/methods.)

Rhyme Time:

On each page, the author has playfully used rhyming words that correlate with the number words. Have your child try to determine the rhyming words on each page. If you have a white board, or large sheet of white paper, write the words down for your child. In some cases, you will be able to talk about word families (-ee word family, -ive family, -ine family, etc.)



fine, divine, line

Number Stories:

Use the Cat Count Counting Pieces to create additional number stories and sentences. Example – I went for a walk and saw 3 kittens in the pet shop window. I bought all three. I already have 2 cats at home. How many cats do I have in all?


Cat Count Number Word Cards

Cat Count Counting Pieces

Bekki Lindner

Writer, speaker,ministry leader, pastor's wife,mom of 4,lover of imagination,children's literature fanatic, and champion of mothers everywhere. Writer for Scholastic. #DisneySMMoms Also blog at:

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