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Kitten Math: The Math Workbook That Makes Kids Go “Awww!”

Imagine… your child, excitedly working through page after page of a math workbook, without you even asking.

What wondrous sorcery is this?

What is this thing that has captivated your child, and turned her–for these few days, at least–into a kid who loves math?

What Is Kitten Math?

Kitten Math is a “choose your own adventure” activity workbook, that teaches your child math while she cares for her very own (imaginary) foster kittens.

Kitten Math workbook by Kelli Pearson (showing cover and open book)

Unlike most math workbooks, kids get to make choices and decisions all throughout Kitten Math, making each child’s experience completely unique.

She gets to do things like choose kittens from the shelter, name them, shop for them, and design a kitten room…all with their own creative flair.

Kitten Math was so fun. I didn’t want it to end!

Ellie, age 8

There’s a lot of math involved in keeping kittens happy and healthy! Each chapter weaves in math in a way that feels totally natural and meaningful to kids…

…Shopping for kitten toys, and estimating how much money they still have to spend.

…Creating a feeding schedule by dividing up the day, and working with elapsed time.

…Planning and designing a kitten room, and knowing how much area their kitten furniture will take up.

…And so many more real-world scenarios!

The 100-page math workbook is filled with 30 days’ worth of captivating kitten activities and games. (And SO MANY adorable kitty photos!)

Two happy little girls holding Kitten Math workbook and a stuffed kitten.

Kids finish the book with a much stronger understanding of how math works, and what it looks like in the real world.

There’s also a free online section that REALLY makes Kitten Math come to life. It includes videos on how to foster kittens, a progress chart, math art, and an interview with an 11-year-old girl who fosters kittens in real life.

What Makes It Such a Powerful Math Book for Kids?

So many kids hate math or think they’re bad at it–often, because they’ve only experienced math as boring problems on a page.

They think they’re not answering fast enough, and believe that means they’re bad at math.

…Or they might memorize a rule to get the right answer, but not truly understand it–which makes them think they’re bad at math.

…They may ask, “WHY do I need to learn this?” It feels completely meaningless, and because they don’t like it, they think they’re bad at math.

Kitten Math gave my daughter a reason to learn math and to see that she’s really quite good at it.

Denise Meredith

Whether they’re struggling with math, feeling anxious, or are simply bored, the result is the same: Kids start to build an identity of “NOT a math person”, and this chips away at their confidence.

Kitten Math is a way for kids to feel excited and happy while doing math.

It’s fun, which makes her feel more confident and think, “I can do this. I WANT to do this. I’m good at math!”

What Age Is Kitten Math Best For?

The math activities and reading level are best suited for kids in 3rd to 5th grade.

Younger kids may be able to do the first few activities, but get bogged down as the math gets harder–so it’s really best to wait until they’re at a solid 3rd grade math level.

A little girl sits on the floor reading Kitten Math workbook

Getting Nitty Gritty: What Math Will My Kid Will Learn?

Your child will work with about 20 different math skills and concepts in Kitten Math.

Because this is not a typical math workbook, the “official” math levels skip around a little. Addition, division, decimals, and even ratios are all mixed in together–just like real life.

And while some of these are more advanced skills, they actually feel easier for many kids because they’re presented in a context that makes sense.

–> Rounding decimals makes sense to kids when a cat toy costs $7.99. Eight dollars is a lot easier to think about.

–> And the advanced topic of ratios feels simple when they learn that for every one scoop of powder, they need two scoops of water.

While the math may skip around, it makes most sense to go through the book in order to follow the story line.

Here is a table of contents that shows the math in each chapter:

1. KITTENS COME HOME

  • Adding a column of 2-digit numbers

2. KITTEN SHOPPING

  • Adding decimals (money)
  • Comparing decimals
  • Rounding decimals

3. FEEDING SCHEDULE

  • Interpreting charts and finding patterns
  • Elapsed time
  • Division

4. BOTTLE FEEDING KITTENS

  • Liquid measurement (ml)
  • Subtracting 2-digit numbers
  • Ratios

5. WEIGHING KITTENS

  • Weight measurement (grams)
  • Comparing large numbers
  • Interpreting and creating a line graph
  • Subtracting 3-digit numbers

WOW! Kitten Math changed everything. We went from tears and battles over math to her being completely self-motivated, confident and actually having FUN with math.

Rachel R.

6. KITTENS GROW UP

  • Fractions
  • Percents
  • Finding half of odd numbers
  • Understanding 50% off

7. DESIGN A KITTEN ROOM

  • Finding area
  • Drawing a map to scale
  • Measurement length and width
  • Rounding inches to feet
  • Multiplication arrays

8. FOREVER HOME

  • Problem solving
  • Being creative and flexible with math
  • Mixed math skills

Here’s a “look inside” video that lets you browse the entire book:

The Story Behind Kitten Math

It all started with a 10-year-old girl named Eliza.

Eliza was a 4th grader in my math class who just didn’t “get it”. She was a deep, creative thinker–but math didn’t resonate for her at all.

Her eyes lit up when she told me she fostered kittens!

I’d never heard of fostering kittens, but I loved the idea. What if I could create a math project that tapped into her love of kittens and fostering?

That’s where it started, but over the next several years it took on a life of its own. I quickly discovered how much I did NOT know about fostering–and I wanted to do this right.

I was hooked! I watched every single Kitten Lady video and learned everything I could about fostering kittens–and eventually started fostering kittens of my own.

Meanwhile, I was trying out Kitten Math with kids in Math Circle, sometimes even bringing tiny kittens to class for fuzzy, hands-on learning!

Two little girls measuring the length of a kitten in Kelli Pearson's Math Circle

Some activities in the early versions of the book were too hard for 3rd-5th graders–so I got rid of those. The kids told me what they loved, and what they wanted more of.

I learned from the kittens, too.

Fostering has so many different pieces: learning to bottle feed, weighing them and knowing what the weights mean, socializing and training them, playing with them, treating them when they’re sick…

The kittens’ daily care gave me so many ideas for the chapters of Kitten Math–and I became as in love with the book as I was with the kittens themselves!

Happy little blond girl feeding a foster kitten with a bottle

The finished book is a total labor of love. All the information about fostering is true, not made up. It actually doubles as a handbook for kids about how to be a great foster parent for kittens!

How To Get Your Paws On a Kitten Math Workbook For Your Kid

My Kitten Math workbook is available in two formats: full-color paperback on Amazon, or as a printable, digital download in my Artful Math shop.

Honestly, for me there is no comparison–the book on Amazon is so much nicer with its color photos, and the whole project bound together into a book.

My 4th grade daughter LOVES this book and carries it in her backpack to school with her just in case she has extra time in the day. It’s been fantastic and a great way to encourage my daughter to “do math!”

H.C.

But I’ve heard from some homeschooling families with lots of kids, who love the digital version because they can print out pages for all their kids.

(Note that in the digital download, it’s not possible to fill out the workbook online–it needs to be printed out first.)

Both versions come with free access to a bunch of bonus activities, kitten videos, progress charts, and more. It’s an awesome little add-on!

–> Get the Kitten Math paperback on Amazon (recommended)

–> Get the Kitten Math digital printable pages

Final Thoughts…

Still not sure whether Kitten Math is right for your child? Maybe this will help:

  • Is your child currently doing second grade math, or lower? NO, don’t get Kitten Math…yet. (Great choice for an upcoming birthday or Christmas, though.)
  • Is your child in middle school or higher, and loves cats? MAYBE, mainly for the kittens and fostering info. The math will likely be easy, but it could be a nice refresher.
  • Is your child in grades 3-5 (or ages 8-11) and loves animals? YES, your child absolutely needs this book!

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How to Supercharge Your Kid’s Math Learning

Kelli Pearson
Author: Kelli Pearson

Kelli Pearson at Artful Math brings creative math experiences to kids who are underwhelmed by worksheets and tired of feeling like they’re bad at math. With a playful spirit and down-to-earth BFF vibe, she helps kids tap into their powerful brilliant selves and learn math with joy.

2 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hi,
    I just received your Kitten Math workbook from Amazon. It is amazing and will be perfect for my fourth grader this summer!
    Do you have any plans for a puppy workbook for the K-2 age group?
    I have a neurodivergent kiddo who needs all the hooks and stories you included to learn math.
    If nothing is in the plans, I would love to use your concept and ideas to try to create one for her. I’m not sure I could replicate the level of excellence you achieved, however.
    I purchased a few items from your shop and will be checking back frequently to see if you added anything or have any new ideas.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I don’t have Puppy Math yet, but it is one of my top requests! Feel free to create one of your own, though. I can’t wait to hear what your 4th grader thinks of Kitten Math!

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