forward with fun logo

Does your young child have 1 to 1 correspondence? If they don't, they may count objects too fast and accidentally skip over items or count the same one twice.

The 1 to 1 correspondence definition is counting one number for every object counted. Simple put, it's counting accurately.

One to one correspondence develops for numbers under 5 in the preschool years and by the end of kindergarten, kids are expected to accurately count up to 20 objects.

*As an Amazon affiliate, I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post, most likely pennies ; )

why kids need 1 to 1 corresopndence

Make your own 1 to 1 correspondence board game in 1 min!

What you'll need:

  1. Magna-tiles -these are the best kids toy I've ever laid eyes on. My kids can play and build with them for hours, which I cannot say about any other toy. If you don't have Magna-tiles, you can always draw a board to play on. But really, I wish I hadn't waited to so long to get them because they're magical.

2. Dry Erase Foam Dice- These dry erase dice allow me to put what I want to on each side. For my 2 year old who only knows numbers up till 3, I wanted to reinforce those numbers only. This would also make it easier for her to count with one to one correspondence. On each side, I wrote 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, and 3. You can personalize it however you want! We even use them to add an element of surprise to chores and so many other ways.

3. Two toys of the kids' choosing, could be anything!

Create the board together

Making the board game together will be a great opportunity for practicing 1 to 1 correspondence.

We chose to have two separate tracks, but really you can make a board that all players use!

When making two seperate tracks, it was important that both players had the same number of Magna-tiles, or the game wouldn't be fair. This led us to deciding a certain number and counting that many squares together.

For counting larger numbers, it is important that children move each piece as they count one more in order to keep track.

DIY board game practiing 1 to 1 correspondence

Play and teach 1 to 1 correspondence:

  1. Each player puts their character on the first square of the game board.
  2. The first player rolls the foam die and reads the number. (If your child is struggling to remember a certain number, this is a great opportunity to practice it, since they'll have lots of exposure to it over the course of each game).
  3. Player moves their character forward that many steps.
  4. Remind your child to count slowly as they move their character forward one square for every number counted.
counting for preschoolers 1 to 1 correspondence activity

Lil Sis (2.5 years) doesn't yet have 1 to 1 correspondence so I tried these methods to help her better understand:

From beginning to end, she did begin counting with greater accuracy, and as we played again and again, she understood much more.

How This Method Teaches 1 to 1 Correspondence:

Kids make a lot of mistakes while rote counting, meaning they're just saying the sequence of numbers they've memorized. In a game, the numbers translate to movements on the board.

By actually having to move each piece only that amount, kids are more focused on counting slowly, leading to greater accuracy.

When kids are counting groups of objects by sight or just by pointing to each item (this happens often in number books when there are no actual manipulatives to move) they more easily lose track of the number of objects.

Giving children manipulatives (actual objects) and asking them to physically pick up and move each item will develop the 1 to 1 correspondence concept that every number said stands for one more item.

To sum it up, help your child develop 1 to 1 correspondence by making sure:

An excellent 1 to 1 correspondence activity that makes sure to do all these things is Dot Sticker Phone Numbers.

Phone Number one to one correspondence

Leave a comment below to let me know how you practice 1 to 1 correspondence with your child!

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

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

Supplies:

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.


Subscribe below for a free week of hands-on activities to your inbox.

girls hugging

Join our signature
program
The Fun Club!

Find out more...

About Us

My mission is to bring fun hands-on learning to your home through simple activities and games that capture your child’s interest.

Weekly Newsletter

Want a free week of learning? I'll send one right to your inbox!