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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.

Kids learn how to count out loud before they learn how to count quantities. Oftentimes, they're saying the numbers faster than they're registering the actual quantity. So my rule is to tell them to "Touch 1, count 1."

In these one to one correspondence activities with your phone number, your child will delight in matching the quantity of various objects to the numbers before them.

Phone Number one to one correspondence

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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:

Teaching phone numbers fine motor preschool math

Dot Sticker Phone Number Activity

  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:

Ways to teach one to one correspondence with googly eyes and stickers on phone number
  1. Use dot paints to "dot" your phone number. Each number is dotted that number of times.
  2. Use stickers to correspond to each number. Maybe they'd like these mermaids? Or dinosaurs?
  3. Sticky googly eyes are a spooky way to practice one to one correspondence with your phone number
  4. Place the matching number of Legos inside each number
  5. Colored toothpicks are a fun counter
  6. Use snacks!
  7. Repeat any of your favorite ways with a new phone number

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. One excellent game that I use to build one to one correspondence with my 2 year old is this.

Moving the objects they're counting will slow down kids' oral counting to match the number of objects. As a result, they will better keep track of what they've already counted.

As children 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. Domino games are great for subitizing!

Want more one to one correspondence practice? If your child likes snack time (who doesn't?), then they'll love this snacktivity aka snack activity.

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