One-to-One Correspondence

Why use One-to-One Correspondence?

Most of what children learn about math is not from dittos and workbooks, but from play and daily activities. In order for children to count with meaning, they must know how to pair objects or match them one-to-one. This process will later help them move toward associating one number with one object. For example, one book for each child, or one hat for every clown.


One-to-One Correspondence Activities

One-to-One Correspondence activities is the perfect occasion to use your whole environment and find activities that would get the child more comfortable with the concept.


1) Give the child three plates and three cups and ask them to set the table. Increase the number of items as the child improves.

Besides being a great one-to-one correspondence activity, setting the table for a child, is a purposeful, meaningful, and fulfilling work that stimulates all of their senses.


2) Let the child pass out books, crayons, and snacks. Ask questions such as, “Do you have enough for everybody to have one? How many more do you need?”

By age three, many children are beginning to understand about turn-taking and sharing and this exercise can help the child understand notions of how dividing equally is the ‘fair’ thing to do.


3) Have the child match up blocks to squares on pattern cards.

Shapes are a great way to identify and organize visual information. Very early, young children begin to make a connection between familiar objects and their shapes. When your child explores different shapes, he or she is using one of the most basic educational processes: the observation of same and different. 


4) Ask children to match up pegs to holes on a pegboard, or to match up puzzle pieces to their appropriate space.

 Pegboards are also a great way to improve a child’s hand-eye coordination.

5) Play group games, such as Duck-Duck-Goose, where children tap one person at a time.

Physical play allow children to use their energy, develop gross and fine motor skills, and of course socialize! 

6) Make folder games where children must match up objects one-to-one. For example, put a flower in each pot, give each elephant a peanut, or put a hot dog in every bun.


7) Tell flannel board stories, such as The Three Bears and Three Little Pigs, then let the child retell them, matching objects one-to-one. (One bowl for every bear, one house for every pig, etc.)

Felt stories provide a more intriguing way of sharing a rhyme or a short story. They can help toddlers who are less interested in books to get some enjoyment out of storytime.