One of the most significant mathematical skills children need to know in preparation for formal learning is one to one correspondence in counting. This is the ability to match each member of one set with another member of a matching set. For example, matching seven rubber ducks with a picture of seven rubber ducks. While this sounds like a very simple skill, it is a foundational to math success, and it can take weeks, or even an entire school year for a preschooler to master. For this reason it is incredibly important to provide children with multiple opportunities to practice.
Here is one of the most basic activities for one to one correspondence. Matching sets.
Simply write the number in marker on one side of an index card and place a matching amount of stickers on the other side.
One to One Correspondence
Children can use counters to cover each sticker.
It’s best to use the same stickers for an entire set of numbers. By making a couple of sets with different stickers your child will feel like it is a new activity every time. Switching up counters will help make an old activity new again, too.
Here are some inexpensive ideas for counters:
- cleaned coins
- pom poms
- wooden disks
- floral marbles
- large beads
- dried pasta
- small erasers
- party favors
- dried lima beans
- small rocks
- large legos
As with any activity involving counters, be sure to choose counters appropriate to the interests and age of your child. Some counters are small and can be a choking hazard, so adult supervision is especially important if your child of toddler age, but activities like this one are most successful when there is an adult for the child to interact with. Doing this activity alongside your child will encourage mathematical interest and motive learning.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.