Julie Brennan over at Living Math makes a powerful argument for integrating a wide spectrum of mathematical concepts into children’s lives through books and literature. In a family of readers, this is easy to do–check your library for a variety of books with mathematical themes. While I don’t think reading about math should take the place of actually practicing math, it sure can go a long way towards helping children see mathematical ideas as relevant and exciting.
By the way, the book Honeybee is reading is called Mathematicians are People, Too. It’s full of stories of real mathematicians and the discoveries they made.