The best fun maths books for kids
Encourage a love of numbers and allow your child to spend some time away from a screen – with these excellent activity books to help children with maths.
KS1 maths books
1. Maths on the Go! 101 Fun Ways to Play with Maths - Rob Eastaway and Mike Askew
How do you make maths relevant to real life and also use it to keep kids entertained when homeschooling? Well, Maths on the Go! has over a 100 ways which you can do that – from games like Times Table Donk to creative ideas such as cutting up the toast with your kids at breakfast to help them understand fractions. Full of activities from KS1 right up to (and including) KS3.
“Maths for Mums and Dads. Regularly have it out when the kids are doing homework!”
“I've picked up some good tips from Rob Eastaway that I'll be implementing with my DD.”Buy it now
2. The Multiplication Tables Colouring Book - Hilary McElderry
It might look retro but this book features a sneaky trick that'll teach your child their times tables while they colour. All the pictures hide a shape that can be revealed by colouring in the multiples of a certain number.
And once they're done with that one, there's another in the series: The Second Multiplication Tables Colouring BookBuy it now
3. This is Not a Maths Book - Anna Weltman
This book seamlessly combines art and maths through a series of activities which call for both creativity and calculation. If your kids think maths is boring, this will convince them otherwise.Buy it now
Related: Best maths apps and games
KS2 maths books
4. Sherlock Bones and the Times Table Adventure - John Bigwood
This lovely activity book follows Sherlock Bones and his trusted accomplice Dr Catson who need to solve a range of multiplication-themed puzzles in order to foil Professor Moriratty's (see what they did there) wicked plan. Suitable for KS2-level.
And for addition and subtraction adventures, check out the follow-up book in the series.Buy it now
5. You Do the Maths: Launch a Rocket into Space - Hilary Koll and Steve Mills
Featuring addition and decimals to line graphs and pie charts, but in all the accessible form of real-world issues, the 'You Do the Maths' books are a refreshing way of learning about how numbers work. Launch a Rocket into Space lets the reader tackle problems using 3D shapes and degrees of rotation while embarking on a mission to outer space. Stellar.
“I found the Hilary Koll and Steve Mills books the best eg year 7, 8 or 9 in the subjects calculations, algebra, numbers, shapes. The algebra one was very very good.”Buy it now
6. Maths Quest: The Museum of Mysteries - David Glover
A Mumsnet favourite. In this fab adventure book, children have to decide their own fate by answering mathematical 'mysteries'. With the right answers, they will advance their quest to save the Golden Hoard of treasure. See also: Cavern of Clues, and Mansion of Mazes.
“Maths Quest perhaps? My son loved them between the ages of around 7-9.”Buy it now
7. Maths Games for Clever Kids - Gareth Moore and Chris Dickason
Packed with times tables and shape-based search scenes, to mental arithmetic and pictorial puzzles, there's plenty of bamboozling (yet fun) content here.
And for more of a general puzzle book, the original bestselling Brain Games for Clever Kids will also get your child solving number, word, memory and code problems.Buy it now
Related: Best educational games for kids
8. The Magic of Maths (Murderous Maths) - Kjartan Poskitt
Packed with facts, tricks and tips about 'savage statistics, odd odds and deadly decimals', the Murderous Maths series is a bold and accessible way to improve kids' maths skills. Think Horrible Histories, but for, well, maths.
“DS1 started reading them in year 5. He loved them and read every one, although reading wasn't his strong point. He has done very well in maths and is currently taking maths and further maths AS levels. I think the books helped inspire his love of maths (though it has always been his favourite subject).”
“My DS is quite innately mathematical, but his ability to lateral-think, and see exactly what trick a puzzle is getting at, and spot connections between things, is definitely down to the guru that is Kjartan Poskitt.”Buy it now
9. Look into my eyes (Ruby Redfort) - Lauren Child
This teen detective series from bestselling author and former Children's Laureate Lauren Child might seem an unlikely addition to the list – but don't judge a book by its cover. Child wrote it with the expert help of well-known Oxford University maths professor Marcus du Sautoy who helped create the advanced maths code used in the books.
Ruby Redfort is a genius code-cracker, daring detective, and gadget-laden special agent who also happens to be a 13-year-old girl. Along with her sidekick butler Hitch, the duo gets into countless scrapes with evil villains, but they never lose their cool. In this first book in the series, Look into my eyes, Ruby begins her involvement with top-secret code-cracking and must stop the evil plans of the formidable Fool’s Gold Gang.
“I heard the author and a mathematician talking about a series of mystery/detective children’s books on the Today programme. I have a DD who loves puzzles and mystery stories, and I think she’d like these.”Buy it now
10. The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure - Hans Magnus Enzensberger
The Number Devil is something of a classic in the world of children's maths books. The book tells the story of 12-year-old Robert who hates maths lessons as he finds the problems boring and just wants to use his calculator. Enter the Number Devil who he meets in his dreams and allows him to discover the amazing world of numbers from prime numbers to the Fibonacci sequence. Charmingly written and illustrated, this book is a great way to engage slightly older children with an aversion to maths, and to show how it can be 'devilishly simple'.
“Mine enjoyed The Number Devil.”
“Would second The Number Devil.”Buy it now
Looking for KS3 maths books?
Some of the above books are certainly a fun way to engage older kids with maths (such as The Number Devil), however, if you want a maths book which will help your kid learn GCSE-syllabus specific maths, Mumsnet users recommend the Pearson books.
“For KS3, I like the tiered Progression Workbooks by Pearson. They are a well-kept secret treasure trove of thematic KS3 geography/maths questions.”Buy now
Online maths resources
There are also plenty of online maths resources out there – here are some of Mumsnet users' favourites.
Cost: £108/quarter (other options available)
A Smartick subscription consists of daily 15-minute sessions to help children master the foundations of maths as well as develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It uses AI to adapt to students' needs, according to their skills and pace – a personalised method which was received well by parents who tested it.
“This has helped my son improve on his maths – even his teacher has seen a difference. I love the enthusiasm he shows each day wanting to do his session.”
Exclusive Mumsnet discount: 25% off all Smartick subscriptionsStart your free trial
Mathletics is a popular choice among parents, with hundreds of hours of maths activities per year level. Other features include a printable workbook library, an online maths game for primary-school-aged kids and weekly report emails for parents.
“My son had real difficulty with maths and Mathletics has helped – first in his confidence and now in his ability.”Start your free trial
Not exclusively for maths, with EdPlace your child has access to thousands of interactive tutorial worksheets on the core subjects up to GCSE level: English, maths and science. It also uses adaptive technology to tailors assignments to match their progress. Clever, huh?
“I tried EdPlace on a 14 day trial for £1 and was so impressed I am saving up to purchase in full. I like how it's set out – it's my favourite find to date.”
Exclusive Mumsnet discount: 15% off all EdPlace subscriptions with code MUMSNET20Start your free trial
Free online maths resources
- CoolMath4Kids – a whole host of maths games and brainteasers for all ages
- Maths is Fun – full of handy real-life demonstrations of maths problems
- Corbettmaths – resources for the 9-1 GCSE maths syllabus
- Teachit Maths – KS3-5 maths resources with free printable PDF sheets
Read next: More online learning resources for kids
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