Math Activities for Preschoolers: One-to-One Correspondence

As a preschool teacher, I have a few must-read sites for inspiration.  Teach Preschool is one of them and has been since before I began Fun-A-Day!  Deborah J. Stewart is the force behind Teach Preschool, where she shares meaningful, age-appropriate preschool activities. When I heard she had a book coming out about getting ready for kindergarten, I was so excited to read it!   The excitement increased exponentially when I learned she was inviting bloggers to participate in a book study of “Ready for Kindergarten!”  For my part in the book study, I chose to focus on math activities for preschoolers that teach 1:1 correspondence.

5 math activities for preschoolers that teach 1:1 correspondence from

Please note that Deborah J. Stewart gave me a free copy of her book “Ready for Kindergarten!” in exchange for my review.  As is always the case, all opinions are my own.  I have also included affiliate links for your convenience.

Before I delve into those math activities, let me tell you about “Ready for Kindergarten!”  I found Deborah’s book to be well laid-out, easy to read, and chock full of helpful tips about preparing children for elementary school.  Deborah focuses on meaningful, play-based ideas for readying children for kindergarten.  If you follow Fun-A-Day!, you know I have definite opinions about kindergarten readiness!  I found that Deborah’s book thoroughly explained every aspect of what a child needs to work on to be ready.  All while playing and participating in age-appropriate activities!

5 math activities for preschoolers to learn 1:1 correspondence from

As I stated above, I chose to focus on one-to-one correspondence as part of Deborah’s “Ready for Kindergarten!” book study.  It is important for young children to master 1:1 correspondence, so it’s a skill we work on quite a bit in preschool!  It boils down to matching one item to one corresponding item.

“The term has more complicated meanings, but for helping your child prepare for kindergarten, we’ll focus on your child’s ability to match objects with numbers or numbers of objects.”  {Deborah J. Stewart, Ready for Kindergarten!}

There are so many ways to let kiddos learn and explore this concept!  Below are just a few math activities for preschoolers that I’ve recently used for one-on-one correspondence practice.

Put the Apples on the Tree
My preschool students always seem to enjoy games involving dice, so this is right up their alley!  The game can be played by one children or multiple kiddos.  Includes a free printable of the apple play mat.

Math Activities for Preschoolers -- "Put the Apples on the Tree" -- a fun math game that lets children practice 1:1 correspondence and fine motor skills

Number and Color Rocks
Using number rocks and rainbow rocks, children can add a different sensory aspect to 1:1 correspondence practice.  The students can match the numeral rocks to the quantity rocks, and they can also count out rainbow rocks to match.

Math Activities for Preschoolers from -- Using number rocks and rainbow rocks to teach children 1:1 correspondence in a fun way

Tiny Eraser Math
Have children use small erasers for one-to-one correspondence activities.  They can place one eraser into each compartment of an ice cube tray.  The erasers can also be used to count out and match to numbers.

Math Activities for Preschoolers from -- Using small erasers to teach children 1:1 correspondence and fine motor skills

Bear Patterns
Children can use bear counters (or and other fun counters) to make patterns.  Place colorful stickers on a strip of paper, preferably in a pattern.  The one-to-one comes into play when they match the appropriate bear counter to the correct color.  Placing the bears into 10-frames is another idea.  Creating a bear pattern, then inviting the children to match that pattern, helps establish 1:1 (in addition to patterning and color recognition).

Math Activities for Preschoolers from -- Sorting bear manipulatives to teach children 1:1 correspondence

Spring Flower Math Game
Like I said, my preschoolers love any and all dice games!  Child rolls a die, then “plants” the correct number of flowers into the play dough.

Math Activities for Preschoolers: One-to-One Correspondence from

I hope you and your kiddos enjoy trying out some of these ideas!  Do you have any fun math activities for preschoolers (or other ages) to practice one-to-one correspondence?  I’d love to hear about them!


  1. says

    Love these ideas! I teach prep (first year at school) and these activities will be perfect for my kiddies at the start of the year. Great practical activities which will keep them engaged – thanks!

    • says

      Thanks Jessica! The kiddos really seem to enjoy the math games, and it’s been requested that we play “that apple game” again next week. :) And Deborah’s “Ready for Kindergarten!” is a wonderful resource!!

  2. andrea cespedes says

    Muy buenas tus ideas, lo mejor, todo se puede hacer con material natural, con cosas que contamos en el ambiente. Mil gracias.

  3. Lisa says

    When we were starting work on 1-1 correspondence in our 3K room, we used table settings and placemats to help the concept. Each placemat was simply made with a tracing of the necessary settings (plate, fork, spoon, cup) Then each student was required to set their places at the table with what was needed. It was a way to introduce the concept!


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