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  • Writer's pictureLara

One-to-one Correspondence Activities

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

One-to-one correspondence is a skill that needs a lot of practice and there are lots of really fun ways to include one-to-one correspondence in daily life or in your math centers or stations.

graphic saying activities for one to one correspondence,  and images of counting mats, pop it task cards, and bear matching to giant playing cards with gummy bears


To start to develop this concept, without the numerals or a number sequence by doing activities or using some kind of counting mat where students are matching items for an item like in these jumbo cards from 5 Below and bear counters or jumbo playing cards like these from Amazon.

One to One Correspondence during play, at home, and in the classroom

A great way to really embed one-to-one correspondence in play is if you are playing with cars or dolls and each player gets one car and one doll to make it fair for everyone so they start to understand that one thing goes with one person. you can also support one-to-one correspondence by having your kids or students help you with things around the house or around the classroom. For example, if your kids are helping you set the dinner table you would make sure that there's one plate for every person one fork for every person one glass for every person etc. In the classroom, they could make sure each person at their table has a pencil or they got one marker for each person using a whiteboard or things like that to really reinforce that one thing goes with one person.

spinner and dice games roll count and cover with pattern blocks and dice and spin and build 10 frames math center

Dice Games

Dice games are a great way to practice one-to-one correspondence because the way the dots are set up are always the same so they'll start to really understand that this many means three this many means for this many means five Etc. The great thing about dice is it's so versatile there are so many games that you can play with dice.

A fun game you can play is called Roll, Count, and Cover with Pattern Blocks. To play, you roll a die, find the numeral that matches what you rolled and cover it with a pattern block, there are versions with a dice numeral track to support students still making connections between a numeral can and value.

Pop Its

Are you students obsessed with Pop Its too?

Pop It Task Cards

These pop it task cards have different popped designs students have to recreate, which is a great visual for students to use without numbers to start.

Roll and Pop

This game is very simple! The students roll a dice, and pop that many bubbles on their pop its and continue until they popped all the bubbles, then flip it over and they can then play again!

Counting Mats

10 Frames

10 frames are boxes with five in each row one on top of the other. this can be really helpful for students working on one-to-one correspondence because they'll have to match one item per box. Then they'll start to eventually learn what different numbers look like in that 10 frames will help them with subitizing or recognizing small Arrangements of numbers in the future.

To use students can use a dice or spinner to get the target number and put the matching amount of items on a counting mat, or a counting center like Spin and Build. (English Version, Spanish Version). You can also work in small group and work on the same number and really observe the one to one correspondence of your students and guide them to make connections with the numeral.

What games will you try?

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