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Kids who count the wrong number of objects without noticing their mistake have yet to develop the important skill of one to one correspondence.

The definition of one to one correspondence is the knowledge that only one item is to be counted for each number that you say. To put it another way, each item in a group of items is only to be counted once.

Because children learn the counting sequence orally before they learn one to one correspondence, kids often over count objects. They're saying the numbers faster than they're registering the actual quantity in the set.

To solve this problem, we use the simple one to one correspondence definition as a reminder to kids: Touch one, count one.

A very engaging way to practice one to one correspondence is through this phone number activity for preschoolers and kindergartners.

*As an Amazon affiliate, I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post at no additional cost to you.

Here is what you'll need to play and start developing one to one correspondence:

Dot stickers are a wonderful tool for developing one to one correspondence because peeling the sticker will

slow down your child's counting. As they peel each sticker, they should only count one number more in the sequence.

Is your child having trouble peeling the stickers? Remove the white backing from the page and it'll be MUCH easier!

How to Teach One to One Correspondence with Phone Number Activities:

Dot Sticker Phone Number Activities

Phone number with dot stickers on each number

One to one correspondence with dot stickers

  1. Write your phone number in large numbers across the paper. They can be block numbers or just written regularly.
  2. Sing your phone number together. Just like that car commercial or that catchy tune you heard on the radio, songs are great memorization tools!
  3. Place the correct number of dot stickers on each number in the phone number. The number 3 should have 3 stickers, 8 should have 8, etc.
  4. As your child peels the dot stickers, remind them the "Touch one, count one" rule.
  5. Each time your child finishes a number, have them go back and check their work. Here is another opportunity to build one to one correspondence, as your child can "touch one, count one" by touching each dot sticker they've placed on the number and counting.

Build on the Dot Sticker Phone Number Activity with the following one to one correspondence activities:

-instead of dot stickers, have your child "dot" your phone

number with Dot Paints

-use stickers of their choosing to dot the numbers in your

phone number. Mermaids? Dinosaurs?

-use these sticky googly eyes to stick on each number to

make the numbers monsters!

-place the correct number of Legos in/on each number

-use colored toothpicks as counters for each digit

-repeat your favorite ways of counting with a new phone


Teach your phone number, phone numbers with eyes and stickers on them

One to One Correspondence for Preschool

Is your child still struggling with one to one correspondence?

For beginner counters, try exercises where they have to actually move the objects they're counting. That will slow down their oral counting to match the number of objects.

By moving the objects, kids better keep track of what they've already counted.

As they get more confident in counting, they might only touch the object, then point at it, and then ideally for smaller numbers, they'll be able to visually know how many they have quickly in a skill called subitizing.

Want more one to one correspondence practice? If your child likes snack time, they'll love this snacktivity aka snack activity.

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